"The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs."
- Cicero

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae (Kirby Benson)

Telescope Basics

Observing Basics

Beginners Clinics

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  Courses and Clinics

Beginning Astronomy Help

Beginning Astronomy Help ASLC is interested in helping beginners to learn the basics of astronomy. At present, we are including new astronomer material at the beginning of each meeting at 7:00 PM. The material is incorporated into or alternated with the Show and Tell session at that time. We hope to cover many of the basics of stargazing, as well as information about our Sun, Moon, the Planets, and various Deep Sky Objects. Telescope basics are also covered. Course Update (4/30/08)... In Spring 2008 we held a special clinic which was a huge success with 14 participants and 6 out of 7 sessions with clear skies. We visited Leasburg Dam State Park for some dark sky oberving on the 5th week and were treated to a clear, nerly wind-free night and an ISS pass. A few pictures of the clinic's final session can be found here.

ASLC can schedule a clinic if sufficient interest is shown. Check this page for updated information.

Beginner's Corner (aka Astro Tid-Bits)

As current members are able to assemble material, a Beginner's Corner will be conducted prior to the beginning of the regular ASLC meeting. These meetings cover a variety of topics and are presented at a level that is appropriate for beginning astronomers. These mini-clinics begin at 7:00 PM and last for about 30 minutes.

New Telescope Owners Clinic

Each year (especailly around Christmas), lots of people purchase or receive telescopes. However, without a little guidance, it can be a challenge to learn to properly assemble and use your new toy. So each January, ASLC conducts a beginning telescope users clinic. The clinic is typically held on a Saturday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Park on Roadrunner. ASLC's astronomers will do their best to explain the working of your new telescope, and help you assemble your telescope, if desired. We can also do some very minor repairs and alignments of the scope's optics if time allows.

Check the ASLC Calendar for the date and time of the next New Owners Clinic. If you miss the New Owner's Clinic, bring your telescope to a MoonGaze and we'll try to help you with the operation of your telescope.

Telescope Making Clinic

Truss Tube Dobs Built by Nils and RichSeveral ASLC members have built their own telescopes ranging from 4.5" to 17.5". Making your own scope is an excellent way to begin your amateur astronomy experience. Not only will you gain intimate knowledge about the workings of telescopes, but your product will likely be worth several times the money you spent building it. Upon sufficient demand the club can conduct a telescope making workshop under the direction of our resident telescope-making expert, Nils Allen.

Participants build a 4.5" Dobsonian reflector telescope using a cardboard mailing tube, precut plywood and supplied optics. A nominal fee is charged to cover supplies. Nils also works with club members on larger telescope making projects as well as on repairs or upgrades to their scopes.

Contact our Events Chair <> or see the Telescope Making Workshop page for more information.