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 to know your way around the night sky and identify various constellations without any need for fancy equipment. The stories behind various constellations will be discussed as well as how to use the constellations to find south.
Additionally, a 10-inch telescope will be used to view planets, including 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! Mars and Venus will also be visible with Mars being in an optimal position in its orbit for viewing in August / September.

What will we cover?

The class will provide an introduction to the constellations and how they change over time. Four major constellations visible on the night will be identified and explored, including the various stories and 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, Saturn, Mars and Venus through the telescope 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 examined.

If you would like to sit during the class, feel free to BYO grass friendly seat! Kids are welcome, if accompanied by a paying adult. Tere’s always something to look forward to in the night sky!

Who will be teaching?

Andrew Jackling completed a Master of Astronomy at Swinburne University in 2017. 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 was constructed by himself and 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 previously been published in Australian Sky and Telescope magazine. You can find him on Twitter