NOVA Astronomy Course - Spring 2019 (SOLD OUT)

Image: M20, Trifid Nebula by by Ian Wheelband

The Spring 2019 course is now sold out but you can sign up to receive email updates about future NOVA courses.

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!

The next NOVA course will be held at the Pickering Central Public Library from April 4 to May 9, 2019 from 7:00-8:50pm (six consecutive Thursdays).

Spaces will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. CLICK HERE to go to the registration page.

Location: *The Auditorium of the Pickering Central Public Library, 1 The Esplanade South, Pickering

* Please note that the April 18 class will be held in the Pickering Council Chambers, 1 The Esplanade South, Pickering (ground floor, adjacent to the library)

Details: Free parking and fully accessible location


NOVA will be six lessons, as follows: 

Week 1 (April 4): Introduction to RASC and Astronomy, overview of the course, astronomy history and "Canada in Space".

Week 2 (April 11): Sun, Earth, Moon, tides, eclipses, our Solar System, the Planets, meteor showers, and comets.

Week 3 (April 18): Astronomy gear, binoculars, telescope types, selection and use, observing logs, equipment, observing sites, more drawing skills.

Week 4 (April 25): Stars, distances, magnitude, learning the night sky, constellations. planispheres, coordinate systems, astronomy (planetarium) software, with a brief demo of Stellarium.

Week 5 (May 2): 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 6 (May 9): Cosmology, black holes, dark matter, universe formation, and an introduction to light pollution and urban astronomy. Course wrap up.

During the course participants will be encouraged to pursue the RASC's Explore the Universe Observing Certificate to gain practical experience in locating and observing astronomical objects.

Class size is limited to approximately 40 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.