Ken Graun, author of several introductory books on astronomy, will offer six monthly classes designed for upper high school students and adults. Meetings will take place in the Patagonia Library and adjacent garden. The first session will be held on Sept. 24.

This six-class course, titled Telescopes and Exploring the Night Sky, is for adult and young adult astronomy enthusiasts wanting to get acquainted with the night sky. Participants will learn how to identify the constellations and get experience with telescopes. Learning will be through lectures, demonstrations and actual observing. 

Southern Arizona often has clear nights, which should ensure plenty of practice learning the constellations and using the telescopes. This is a course for having fun and learning something new. Reference books and star charts will be provided free for participants to keep. 

Class Descriptions: 

Saturday, September 24, 2022 

Class 1 • 2 hours Objective: Introduction to the night sky—everything that is up there. Learn to identify the constellations Lecture: a) Overview of the Universe, from the Moon to galaxies b) Learn about the constellations/stars and the movements in the sky c) Learn to use a Planisphere (Star Chart) to identify constellations Outdoor Activity: Use a planisphere to identify constellations in the night sky.

Saturday October 22, 2022 

Class 2 • 2 hours Objective: Introduction to Telescopes and using one to observe celestial objects Lecture: Overview of the 3 major types of telescopes Outdoor Activity: Use a reflector telescope to locate and observe objects in the night sky.   

Saturday November 19, 2022 

Class 3 • 2 hours Objective: Introduction to Telescope Mounts Lecture: Major telescope mounts, motorized and GOTO versions Outdoor Activity: Use a SCT GOTO telescope to observe objects in the night sky.

Saturday December 17, 2022 

Class 4 • 2 hours Objective: Understand eyepieces and discovering the ones that work best for you. Lecture: The ABCs of Eyepieces. Choosing and using eyepieces—various eyepieces presented. Outdoor Activity: Telescope observing of the night sky.

Saturday January 21, 2023 

Class 5 • 2 hours Objective: Observing the Sun, Moon and planets Lecture: The Sun, Moon and planets—basic facts and observing techniques. Outdoor Activity: Telescope observing of the night sky.

Saturday February 18, 2023

Class 6 • 2 hours Objective: Learn about and observe Deep Sky Objects (Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies). Lecture: The Messier and NGC catalogues of Deep Sky Objects Outdoor Activity: Telescope observing of the night sky.

Ken Graun is the author of several beginning books and star charts for amateur astronomers, including “What’s Out Tonight? Touring the Universe” and “The Guide to the Stars” series of planispheres (round star charts) as well as a celestial atlas. For ten years, he coordinated the annual Riverside Astronomy Expo Beginner’s Corner held near Big Bear, California. Ken is adjunct faculty at Pima Community College teaching statistics in the psychology department. FOr more info call the library at 520.394.2010