Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Learn about stargazing from the Curious Skywatcher

Adult Education Courses
Fall 2008, Botetourt County
Sponsored by Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
To register, contact NonCredit
Coordinator Judy Clark at (540) 8632863
or email
jclark@dslcc.edu. Toll free: (877) 73DSLCC, ext. 2863.
Greenfield Education and Training Center
57 S. Center Drive, Daleville, VA
Stargazing for the Curious Skywatcher
Tuesdays, Sept. 23 – Oct. 28, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., $85, Room 122. Instructor John Goss. Tour
the universe and learn how to see lunar craters, planets and their moons, constellations, star
clusters, etc. Book & planisphere may be purchased first night. (PHSC 1100G1N,


Anonymous said...

Just curious as to your educational background and qualifications to be an instructor for this class. I take it that you have degrees in Astronomy or Physics. I would like to take an astronomy class, but I am deciding between your course and an Astronomy class at my college.

Curious Skywatcher said...

Although my degree was in engineering, my passion for 40 years has been amateur astronomy. I've earned the title of "Master Observer" from the Astronomical League; I've spoken at national, regional and local conventions of amateur astronomers; I've contributed articles about the hobby to a national magazine; I've written the monthly star gazing column for the Roanoke Times; and I've served as the national secretary of the Astronomical League for the past 3 years.

"Stargazing for the Curious Skywatcher" will focus on why the sky looks the way it does from our vantage point on Earth. This all will be done with very little math and no detailed discussions of physics.

Using hands-on demonstrations and visual aids, we will discuss:

the inner planets, Mercury and Venus;
the Moon and its phases;
our Earth's elliptical orbit and the cause of the seasons;
apparitions of Mars;
observing Jupiter and its moons, and Saturn and its moons.

We will learn about binoculars and telescopes.
We will learn the fall constellations, bright stars, and the band of the Milky Way.

We will observe the Moon, various planets, star clusters, star forming nebulae, ejected stellar shells, and remote galaxies.

All the while, we will keep in mind that such is our view from Earth.