Summer Night Sky Class Series

  • May 24 - Aug 23, 2022
  • Robert Ferguson Observatory

    2605 Adobe Canyon Road
    Kenwood, California 95442
Ticket Price $20.00-$80.00 This event is now over

Please note an update to our Covid policy. The Robert Ferguson Observatory requires proof of Covid vaccination or a negative Covid test (completed within 72 hours) for all public and private events. The good news is that implementing this policy will enable us to open more of our scopes to the public. Proof can be in the form of a vaccination card or a picture of one. Please be advised that there is no cell service up at Sugarloaf so please make sure you don’t need to get online to an app or website in order to show proof. Thank you in advance for abiding to these policies and keeping our volunteers and visitors safe!


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 11:30 PM.


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, however you must obtain a parking pass from us and take it back to your car before the class begins. Presentations begin promptly at the times noted and last approximately 90 minutes. Please arrive about 30 minutes early on your first night to check in and obtain a parking pass.


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 up to four of the classes, series purchases remain possible until the third session.

Please note, members receive a 20% discount 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.


Class 1 - Tue, May 24, 8:00pm
Asterisms and Constellations
Deep Sky Objects
Sky Charts
The “Spring Arc”
Constellations: Ophiuchus, Serpens, Corona Borealis

Class 2 - Tue, Jun 21, 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 - Tue, Jun 28, 8:00pm
Obliquity of the Ecliptic
Equinoxes and Solstices
Precession and Epochs
Constellations: Scorpius, Aquila

Class 4 - Tue, Jul 19, 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 - Tue, Jul 26, 8:00pm
The Solar System
Constellations: Lyra, Vulpecula, Cygnus

Class 6 - Tue, Aug 23, 8:00pm
The Moon and Eclipses
Constellations: Sagitta, Delphinus, Equuleus, Capricornus


Date & Time

May 24 - Aug 23, 2022

Venue Details

Robert Ferguson Observatory

2605 Adobe Canyon Road
Kenwood, California 95442 Robert Ferguson Observatory
Robert Ferguson Observatory

The Valley of the Moon Observatory Association (VMOA) is volunteer amateur and professional astronomers plus a small supporting staff organized as a nonprofit association to provide educational programs about science and astronomy for students, the public, and in support of educators.

The VMOA is responsible for the construction, maintenance and utilization of the Robert Ferguson Observatory and functions as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the auspices of the California State Parks System, and in cooperation with our local state parks.

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