The Night Sky and Astronomy - Seattle - 2024

Night Sky Course

The Night Sky and Astronomy

Learn about the night sky and visual astronomy with telescopes including navigation of the night sky, identification of night time objects, and telescope use. Students will also learn about dark sky location etiquette and safety.

This course includes two sessions that prepare and teach students about the night sky and visual astronomy with telescopes. In addition to learning navigation of the night sky, identification of night time objects, and telescope use, students will also learn about dark sky location etiquette and safety. This will prepare students to take trips out to a dedicated dark sky location, Goldendale Sky Village.

In the first session, students will learn:

  • Dark Sky etiquette
  • Navigation terminology and use in astronomy
  • Identification and navigation to constellations
  • Identification and navigation to the planets (when available)
  • Identification and navigation to asterisms
  • Use of binoculars in astronomy 

In the second session, students will learn:

  • Basic use of telescopes for visual astronomy
  • Eyepieces and visual filters
  • Care of optics

Each session will also include a practical portion, where students will get to practice the techniques and skills taught in the classroom at The Mountaineers Program Center.

There is no pre-requisite for taking the Night Sky and Astronomy course. Students attending a dark sky field trip to Goldendale Sky Village must hold the Dark Sky and Astronomy badge addressing dark sky etiquette and basic telescope operation. The workshops for dark sky etiquette and basic telescope operation will be held at The Mountaineers Program Center. Students that earn the badge will have the option to take one trip to Goldendale Sky Village. Once students complete the Dark Sky and Astronomy Badge, they may sign up for additional trips.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Introduction to Telescope Use
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Apr 16, 2024
Registration closes Apr 15
11 participants
Observation Night (optional)
Goldendale Sky Village
Fri, May 3, 2024 -
Sun, May 5, 2024
Registration closes May 1
1 participant
Roster
Required Equipment

The two initial workshops that enable Mountaineers to be certified for dark sky trips to Goldendale Sky Village for observational astronomy will require red light FOBs, planispheres, finder charts, and some instructor created content. These materials will be provided to students as part of the enrollment in the series.

Binoculars, laser pointers, telescopes, mounts, filters, and eyepieces will be used and their care taught during the workshops. These materials will be provided to the workshops, but are not to be kept by students. Students may bring their own gear from this list for use in the workshops, so long as the gear is approved by the instructor ahead of time.

Trips to Goldendale Sky Village should be considered camping trips with minimal amenities. Students will be responsible for their own shelter (car/tent/RV camping), food, water, clothing and warmth. Due to dark sky etiquette at Goldendale Sky Village, campfires are not permitted. Red-light flashlights or headlamps will be required. Instructors of workshops and trips may require additional equipment for students.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.