Zero to Hero: A Backyard Astronomer's Adventure! Autumn Class Series

  • October 9 - December 18, 2023
  • Robert Ferguson Observatory

    2605 Adobe Canyon Road
    Kenwood, California 95442
Ticket Price $20.00-$120.00 This event is now over

RFO is excited to welcome you to your next astronomical adventure! We want you to get the most out of every observing session, so after listening to your questions, we are excited to offer this new 6-session course for beginning astronomers in 2023!


Have fun as we explore how to become better backyard astronomers with different telescopes and solutions.

No equipment? No problem!

No equipment is required to get started; just bring your enthusiasm and imagination.


Trying to decide what telescope you should buy for yourself or the family?

Just bought a new telescope and need some guidance?

Have an older telescope that you’d like to clean up and put light through once again?

Have a pair of binoculars or want to look up and enjoy the night sky with you own eyes?

We are sure that you’ll enjoy this series!


Starting from the ground up, we’ll get our hands on a variety of bases, mounts, telescopes, eyepieces, and accessories.

If budget is where you are focused, we have you covered here as well.


We look forward to helping you set and reach your astronomy goals while you expand your knowledge, from the beauty of the night sky to the equipment used to observe it. This 6-session series will guide beginning astronomers into how to become better backyard astronomers. No equipment will be necessary. The class will explore where to start, how to decide what telescope to purchase, problem solving, and more! 


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 60 to 90 minutes, followed by outside hands-on time with a variety of small telescopes. Please arrive about 30 minutes early on your first night to check in and obtain a parking pass.


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. 


It is highly recommended that attendees purchase the whole series to get the optimum knowledge and experience out of the class. However, tickets can be purchased for the individual sessions. 


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.


Below are the dates, times, and themes for each class:

October 9, 6:30 pm, Class #1: The Night Sky is for Everyone

October 23, 6:30 pm, Class #2: Where do I start?

November 6, 6:30 pm, Class #3: Setting Goals, Expectations, and Budget

November 20, 6:30 pm,  Class #4: Dip Your Toe or Jump in the Deep End?!

December 4, 6:30 pm, Class #5: Problem Solving

December 18, 6:30 pm, Class #6: Solar Observing with YOUR telescope



Date & Time

Oct 9 - Dec 18, 2023

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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