This Summer Night Sky Class is a series of lectures on our Place in the Universe and the Constellations of the Seasons.
The three seasonal series (six classes each) are designed for everyone from total beginners to experienced amateur observers. Whether you want to learn the constellations or have a telescope and want to expand your knowledge of viewing objects, these classes have something for you. The focus is on learning the night sky in a “geographic” sense…locating yourself in our solar system, our Milky Way and our local galaxy cluster neighborhoods! A few constellations are introduced in each class—their myths, history and interesting stars. We also cover deep sky objects such as the beautiful nebulae and clusters that never cease to awe and amaze.
After each class (sky conditions permitting), we go outside to locate the constellations just presented. We then move to the Observatory’s telescopes to view objects within the featured constellations, until or beyond 10:30 PM (11:00 PM daylight time).
Basic topics are repeated in each series so that concepts become familiar. Persons who take all three Night Sky series (18 classes in all) will learn the entire sky viewable from our northern latitude. (The winter sky is split between the Fall and Spring Series).
Detailed informational handouts are provided at each class. These may serve as excellent reference materials for all types of observing. The handouts are compiled from a large number of sources, and the observatory strives to make certain that they are useful, accurate, and up-to-date.
Classes are held at The Robert Ferguson Observatory. Park in the gravel area near the horse corrals just outside the gate to the Group Camp/Observatory site. You do not need to pay the park day use fee to attend the class. Presentations begin promptly at the times noted and last approximately 90 minutes.
While the classes are designed for adults, children 8 to 12 years old who already have an avid interest in astronomy can enjoy them. The classes are not recommended for children under 8.
Tickets can be purchased for the entire 6-class series or for the individual sessions. Because the per class fee for the series ticket remains a good deal for five of the classes, series purchases remain possible up to the second session.
Please note, members receive significant discounts for either a single session or when purchasing the whole series. If you'd like to become a member, please fill out a member application form and you will be sent a promotional code to use when purchasing tickets.
You MUST have a ticket to attend this event. Attendance is limited and, while remaining tickets will be sold at the door, they will be subject to availability. Please note that tickets are non-refundable and cannot be used for future events.
Class 1 - Mon, Jun 3, 8:00pm
Asterisms and Constellations
Deep Sky Objects
The “Spring Arc”
Constellations: Ophiuchus, Serpens, Corona Borealis
Class 2 - Mon, Jun 24, 8:00pm
Sky Motion and the Seasonal Skies
Celestial Poles and Celestial Equator
The Ecliptic and the Zodiac
The “Summer Triangle”
Constellations: Hercules, Libra, Draco
Class 3 - Mon, Jul 1, 8:00pm
Obliquity of the Ecliptic
Equinoxes and Solstices
Precession and Epochs
Constellations: Scorpius, Aquila
Class 4 - Mon, Jul 8, 8:00pm
Galaxy Clusters and Super-Clusters
Spiral Structure and Star Formation
The Milky Way and Our Milky Way Neighborhood
The Galactic Halo and Globular Clusters
Constellations: Sagittarius, Scutum
Class 5 - Mon, Jul 29, 8:00pm
The Solar System
Constellations: Lyra, Vulpecula, Cygnus
Class 6 - Mon, Aug 5, 8:00pm
The Moon and Eclipses
Constellations: Sagitta, Delphinus, Equuleus, Capricornus