A typical night sky as seen in Stellarium
An introduction to the widely used free astronomy software. Visualize the sky from anywhere on Earth, in the Solar System, and in space at any time… past, present, and future.
Wednesdays, 7 PM, Online via Zoom (first class is on a Tuesday)
IMPORTANT. This is a workshop class. There will be in-class practice and at-home assignments. It is expected you will have downloaded the free software and its User Guide before the first class. Without the application on your computer, you will gain little from the course and frankly hinder the progress and discussion for other class members.
Please go ASAP to stellarium.org to download version 0.21.1 for your specific device and, separately, its User Guide. Start exploring the Guide and the software on your own before our first class.
Lecture 1: Setup and Functionality
Installation, The Bible, The User Interface and Settings
The Struggles, Help
Lecture 2: First Steps
First Steps, Time Machine, Sky and Viewing Options
Lecture 3: Planning Sky Views on your Computer
Location and Time, Your Sky Window, How to plan for a session
Lecture 4: Using Stellarium for Science
Equinox and Solstice, Equator, Tropics, Circles, Coordinate Systems
Eclipses and Comets, Planets and Moons, Exoplanets
The Solar System View, The Universe
Lecture 5: Using the program for amateur astronomy observing
Telescope, Eyepiece, and Binocular Views, Astrophotography settings
Telescope Controls Available, Plugins , Scripts
Lecture 6: Putting it all together
Review of the entire library of tools
5 minute presentations of individual astronomy projects (optional)
The Major League Stuff
Instructor Matthias Schmitt is a completing a Masters degree in astronomy and teaches public observation sessions for the Park Service in Utah. He also directs TV/cable programs on space science and adventures for young people.