....Oakland, California - Stargazing since 1924

Astronomy Course at SF State

San Francisco State University is offering a week long course in observational astronomy this summer from July 18-23 at its scenic Sierra Nevada Field Campus.

I took the class last year and it was a great hands-on course. In fact, it was my major inspiration for taking John Dobson's telescope building class this past fall.

You learn to identify the various constellations and read star charts. They had several 16" and 17" Dobsonian telescopes which we used each night. We mostly looked at Messier objects, however, one ambitious student was able to observe Pluto! Perhaps, someone will see Sedna this year. :-)

The campus and class schedule is very nice. Although you don't have to, most people choose to live at the campsite during the week. The university has large tents as well as bathrooms and showers. They also have dining facilities which serves breakfast/dinner and provides bagged lunches.

The astronomy lectures are in the afternoon so most people go hiking or lake swimming during the morning. After lectures, you get a couple of more hours to relax and have dinner. We then drive up to the observation point and usually stay until the wee hours.

The "final" is a star party, although last year it was overcast so it was a little disappointing.

For more information on the campus and class, check out:


Or feel free to e-mail me directly.

Best regards,

Ken Frank

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