Astronomy and Star Gazing: Night Sky Safari

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

Have you ever wanted to make more sense of the night sky? Or see the rings of Saturn for yourself? Whether you’re completely new to astronomy or have some experience, exploring and learning about the night sky is something everyone can enjoy.

This class will help you find your way around the night sky and identify various constellations without fancy equipment. We’ll tell stories behind the constellations, plus learn how to use the stars to find south.

Weather permitting, we will also use a 10-inch telescope to view two of the most spectacular planets in our solar system – Jupiter and Saturn. Viewing these giant planets through a telescope is a must. Not only are various moons of each planet easily seen, but the cloud bands on Jupiter and the rings of Saturn are sights to behold!

What will we cover?

The class will provide an introduction to the constellations and how they change over time. Four major constellations will be identified and explored. We’ll hear stories and learn about the important stars associated with each one. The class will also cover topics including:

• Identifying the closest star system to Earth
• Double star systems
• Planets orbiting other stars
• How a telescope works

Finally, everyone will have the opportunity to view Jupiter and Saturn if the weather is kind! The key features of these planets will be discussed including Jupiter’s great red spot and Saturn’s extensive ring system. Additionally, the potential for life to be found on particular moons of these planets will be considered.

Who will be teaching?

Andrew Jackling is currently completing a masters in astronomy at Swinburne University. He has had a passion for astronomy and astrophotography from a young age and grew up observing the night sky. The telescope Andrew will bring is a 10-inch Newtonian telescope, the base of which he constructed with his father. He has used the telescope to observe distant galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, comets, the planets as well as the Moon. Andrew’s astrophotography images have been published in Australian Sky and Telescope magazine.