NOVA: New Observers to Visual Astronomy
The Halifax Centre of the RASC is pleased to offer its version of the popular NOVA Program (New Observers to Visual Astronomy).
This program is intended to provide anyone interested in astronomy (including new RASC members) with basic astronomy knowledge and skills to enable them to become proficient amateur astronomers and to foster an environment wherein new members may quickly become active, participating members of the Society.
Participants in the NOVA Program will receive a copy of the printed course materials. Over the length of the course, the students will be walked through completion of the RASC’s Explore the Universe Certificate, which will provide an observer with an introduction to the various aspects of astronomical observing, from lunar observing to deep sky objects.
The program consists of 9 lessons, each of which covers different aspects of amateur astronomy. Each lesson will consist of a lecture, with videos and other demos to clearly explain the various concepts.
The course will begin on 17 October at St Mary’s University. Program will be held in Room 305 of the Atrium building and will start at 6:30 PM on the same evenings as the regular Halifax Centre meetings. Each lesson will last about an hour.
or post to the Halifax list for more information by 10 October.
The cost of the program will be $60 to cover materials. Payment is due on the 17th. The course fee is payable by cash or cheque made out to Halifax Centre RASC.
Course outline (subject to change):
Lesson 1 – Observing
How to prepare for an observing session, complete an observing log and
the basics of lunar sketching.
Lesson 2 – Motions of the Sky and Seasons
Apparent motion of the stars across the sky, the changing path of the
sun and why we have seasons.
Lesson 3 – Maps, North, Distance, Position and Brightness
Star maps, finding north, measuring distance, location systems
(alt-azimuth) and magnitude of sky objects.
Lesson 4 – Telescope Types and Using Them
Telescope types, mounts and accessories, techniques for using your
telescope (aligning a finder-scope, polar alignment, etc.)
Lesson 5 – Star Designations, RA & Dec, Deep Sky Objects
Common star designations, RA/Dec coordinate system, different types of
deep sky objects
Lesson 6 – The Moon & Eclipses
Moon Phases, lunar and solar eclipses, tides
Lesson 7 – The Solar System
Solar system formation & scale, observing the planets
Lesson 8 – Stars
Types of stars, temperature and colour of stars, stellar life cycles