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Image: M20, Trifid Nebula by by Ian Wheelband

*You may view the main Education and Public Outreach page by clicking here

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Toronto Centre runs a program for adults and teenagers who are interested in astronomy. 

The NOVA (New Observers to Visual Astronomy) program is a free 6-week introductory course that is designed to show the novice astronomer the wonders of the night sky and how to enjoy them. No experience or telescope required.

We are excited to offer a lineup of expert presenters who will introduce you to visual observing, the solar system, stars, deep sky objects, black holes, telescopes, cosmology, and SO much more!

If you're interested in this exciting course and want more information, please feel free to contact our Education and Public Outreach Chair, Aly Kamadia:


NOVA will be six lessons, as follows: 

Week 1: Introduction to RASC and Astronomy; overview of the course; astronomy history; "Canada in Space"; how stars move nightly, monthly; how to use Star Finders

Week 2: Solar System: How to find and observe the Sun, Moon, planets, comets

Week 3: Astronomy gear, binoculars, telescope types, selection and use, observing logs, equipment, observing sites, drawing skills.

Week 4: Milky Way, deep sky objects, nebulae, star clusters, galaxy formation and types of galaxies. How to observe galaxies and galaxy clusters. Astro-sketching. Introduction to Messier and RASC observing programs.

Week 5: Stars, distances, magnitude, learning the night sky, constellations,  coordinate systems, astronomy (planetarium) software, with a brief demo of Stellarium.

Week 6: Cosmology, black holes, dark matter, universe formation, and an introduction to light pollution and urban astronomy. Course wrap up.

Class sizes are usually limited to approximately 50 participants. Recommended minimum age for participants is 13 years old. Children under 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult during each session.

We look forward to introducing and welcoming you to the wonderful world of astronomy and visual observing!


You can sign up to receive email updates about future NOVA courses.