Welcome to the world of Astronomy!!
It is a wonderful experience to be able to look out into the night sky and see the universe and everything around us in the Solar System, the Galaxy and out millions of light years – and its something you can do from your own backyard. The equipment to do this is becoming simpler to do this every day but it can still offer challenges in getting it all together on the night. The further out you want to see probably requires more specialised equipment, but also requires more skill to understand what is going on in the sky, and more importantly with your equipment. To assist your journey, we have developed the following curriculum to help you understand a pathway to gain these skills.
We suggest that you attend a Beginners Night on Zoom and then attend a Beginners Night in the Field. These can be repeated as necessary to reinforce the learnings. Our experience is that, then you will require about 10 nights in the field, either on your own in your backyard, or out in the field with Members to practice and ask questions specific to your setup. To join members on the members observing nights you will also need to be a member. You can also receive help from the NSAS forum (available from the NSAS Home page, or from Google, YouTube or from any of the many the astronomy related websites, such as iceinspace or cloudnights.
The Beginners Night in the Field (BNF) is part of the society’s New Astronomers Group (NAG) which operates classroom-based courses although these are currently restricted due to COVID. It includes a guided walk-through where experienced astronomers and astrophotographers will assist you to set up your own scope and have a guided tour through the heavens.
Places are limited and registration is required to attend. There is a small $20 fee per telescope for non-members (we recommend only 2 people attend but you may have a maximum of 4 people per telescope) to cover costs. Bookings can be made by adding the following item to your cart and proceeding with the order.
If you are interested in the Beginners Night series then
- you need to register for the Beginners Night on Zoom and Beginners Night in the Field separately below, and
- please also note that there are restrictions on the telescopes we will support in the field.
For Beginners Night in the Field you need to bring your own telescope and your telescope MUST be of a suitable standard and not a “my friend bought this 10 years ago and gifted it to me”. These scopes typically will not help you learn and will more than likely stop you from learning what you need to know and frustrate you (and us). If it’s old and worn but has sentimental value – put it on the shelf and leave it there. If you are wondering if your telescope is suitable please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know.
To register for Beginners Night in the Field or Beginners Night on Zoom please register below. To watch a recently recorded Beginners Night on Zoom (24th February) please click Here or for the 5th May session here.
The Beginners Night in the Field includes;
- Demonstration on how to set up a typical telescope (Celestron, Meade and SkyWatcher)
- An allocated astronomer who will be familiar with your equipment (if one of the 3 above).
- Time for you to setup your own scope with assistance from your astronomer
- Viewing time to observe objects such as;
- The Jewel Box NGC4755
- Omega Centauri Globular Cluster NGC5139
- Jupiter and Saturn
- The Butterfly Cluster NGC6405
- Question and Answer time with your allocated Astronomer
The class will be conducted in a safe distancing manner and you will be required to confirm a social distancing statement when you register.
Please note that if your night is clouded over then the following Saturday will be the backup night. If this night is also not suitable then the event will be cancelled and any deposit will be refunded. Where possible, we will look to give you priority booking for the next BNF, if spots are available.
We’d love to introduce you to the fascinating world of astronomy and if you have made the recent decision to purchase a telescope, this Beginners Night in the Field will make it easy for you to get started on your journey.
If you have any questions then please use the contact form at the NSAS website (https://nsas.org.au/about-nsas/contact-us/).