Classes for Amateur Astronomers

Here it is! Our summer program "Learn the Sky Nights" is back! This year we are holding the classes on Monday evenings! Classes start on 9 July so be sure to register soon!!

  • Have you ever wondered about what that bright star is near the moon? Or how do amateur astronomers know where to look in the sky? Have you ever gone to some of the astronomy websites and wondered what the heck they were talking about?

    Then the class is for you!

For six Monday nights in July and August (2007), we will cover some of the basic (7:30 - 9:30 pm) topics in amateur astronomy.

We anticipate this being a popular program, so be sure to download the registration form and email it or fax (301-405-3538) it back to Elizabeth! Preference will be given to those who attend all six evenings. Families are welcome... students under 17 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (other than me!)!

The classes will be a mixture of lecture, activities, and hands-on lessons. When the weather permits, we will use the observatory telescopes. In addition, there will be some 'homework' each week!


  • Registration -- download the registration form and email it or fax (301-405-3538) it back to Elizabeth.
    -- .pdf
    -- .doc
    -- .html

  • Cost -- $10 per person per class; payment can be made at the first class you attend.

  • Course Credit -- None, this is strictly a fun course for amateurs and other interested individuals who want to learn more about astronomy.

  • Class cancellations -- classes will only be canceled in case of extreme weather. A message announcing any class cancellations will be posted on the UMD Observatory homepage and on Elizabeth's phone (301-405-6555).


week date topic
7:30 - 9:30pm
1 9 Jul 2006 alt az, planispheres, satellites and constellations
2 16 Jul 2006 RAdec, starcharts, starhopping, planetarium software
3 23 Jul 2006 types of scopes, setting up scopes, telescope making
4 30 Jul 2006 types of objects, Messier and other lists
5 6 Aug 2006 astrophotography and digital imaging
6 13 Aug 2006 observing projects, Solar Observing

Elizabeth Warner, the UMD Observatory coordinator, will be teaching the classes. If you have any questions, please email her or call her at 301-405-6555.