The Beginner's Guide to Backyard Astronomy
How to set-up your telescope and begin seeing planets and galaxies tonight!
The Original Detailed Guide to Beginning Astronomy!
My name is Adam Kirk, and I'm the backyard astronomer behind Love the Night Sky and the Virtual Astronomy Club.
For over eighteen months, you've only been able to access my Beginner's Guide to Backyard Astronomy course through a monthly subscription but now, for a limited time, you can buy it to own forever - including planned 2021 updates.
For less than the cost of a telescope eyepiece, I've created seven separate courses, containing forty different lessons, that will guide you through every step you need to take to see your first craters, planets, galaxies, and nebulae.
Read on to find out the full details of what's included, and I hope to see you on the inside soon!
Courses 1 & 2: Basics of Astronomy
The lessons in these two courses will get you ready to start observing.
I teach you some key fundamentals of astronomy, including key terms you need to be aware of and how to choose the best location available to you for stargazing.
The 'readying your telescope' lesson is a crucial one. It shows you how to get your telescope set up so that all you need to do is worry about pointing it in the right direction (and I show you how to do that too!).
I'll guide you through eyepiece selection and explain how magnification works in a telescope... and why magnifying power is not the most important thing that your telescope does.
With your telescope ready to use, I wrap these sections up with a guide on working out your field of view - which is important when we come to star-hopping, later in the course - before finishing with a look at how to make sure you're properly prepared for a night of watching the stars.
With your first two courses complete, you'll be ready to learn some astronomy techniques.
Course 3: Astronomy Techniques
In the Astronomy Techniques course, you'll have three lessons to help you have a successful night's viewing.
I begin with teaching you an easy way to measure angles in the night sky, which is a core skill for finding your way around.
Next is the biggie: planning what to see. There are so many astronomers not making the most of their limited observing time because they've not planned beforehand what to see. But, in a near-infinite universe, with countless objects to point your telescope at, where should you start?
Well, this lesson contains all the information you need, including a handy video guide to some excellent astronomy software, to have you quickly planning out your first stargazing expedition perfectly tuned to your location and viewing time.
In the last lesson of this course, I'm teaching you all about star-hopping (which I mentioned earlier). This is the technique we can use to move from a star that's bright and easy to find to an object that's much fainter and harder to locate. This is a key skill you'll need to look for deep space objects (DSOs) like galaxies and Nebulae, which we'll come to in course 8.
With the aid of several clearly annotated star maps, you'll be hopping around the night sky like a pro in no time. And, when you are, you'll be ready to tackle course 4...
Course 4: Constellations
Every astronomer relies on the constellations to quickly and easily find the right part of the sky needed to locate their chosen object. Constellations are collections of generally bright stars that form a recognizable shape; they're super-simple to recognize (when you've been taught) and act as a valuable astronomy guide.
I think it's crucial to begin with the circumpolar constellations, which are ones visible every night of the year. So, that's exactly what I teach you in the first lesson of course four. I've included four videos to help you learn the circumpolar constellations and a load of star maps to highlight which ones are visible in your sky.
After you've got the circumpolar constellations in the bag, there are four more lessons in the section. These set out the brightest constellations in each season, showing you where they can be seen and the main stars within them.
We've covered a lot of ground (or sky) now! By the time you finish course four, you'll have worked your way through 18 different lessons and be more than ready to start seeing some stuff!
It's high time, then, that you moved on to courses five, six, and seven, which are all about seeing night sky objects.
Course 5: The Moon
The first object I want you to look at is, of course, the Moon. It's our nearest neighbor, and the object that first got me hooked on astronomy as a young boy.
I take you through when to look, what features you should expect to see, and how to observe parts of the Moon that don't usually face us.
After that, I set out the Lunar 100 guide. These are detailed lessons which help you discover 100 different features on the lunar surface with your telescope. They begin deceptively easy, but the difficulty increases and the last ten are fiendishly difficult to spot.
Don't worry though, I've shown the best nights to look and exactly where to find them.
Course 6: The Planets
Every astronomer remembers their first view of Saturn's rings, and this course is designed to help you get yours... as well as the crescents of Mercury and Venus, the polar ice caps of Mars, and the bands and moons of Jupiter.
Before I jump into a separate lesson for each of the bright planets, I'll show you how to find a planet when you never have before. This lesson is about the magical line the planets travel a,long, called the ecliptic. There's video in the lesson showing how the ecliptic works, and star maps showing where to find it - morning and evening - for every month of the year.
When you know where to hunt for the planets, we turn to viewing them.
Each of the five bright planets has its own detailed lesson. In it, you'll learn the main features to look at for and when is the best time of the year to go hunting for them. As you'd expect by now, the lessons contain images, maps, videos, and easy-to-follow guides to bring each planet to life in your eyepiece.
Finally, when you've spied the planets, you'll be ready to leave the solar system and go into outer space!
Course 7: A Year of Deep Space Objects
My personal favorite astronomy sights are the deep space objects, also known as deep sky objects and DSOs.
These are the stunning, and often illusive, objects beyond the boundaries of our solar system, including nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters.
In this DSO course, I've put together thirteen separate lessons. The first is an overview guide on seeing the DSOs in this course, followed by twelve individual DSO guides, one for each month of the year. Each DSO lesson gives information about the object you'll be seeing, times for when is best to hunt for it, and star maps with my annotations to help you find it.
When you have the object in your eyepiece, each lesson also tells you what to look for and what you should expect to see. And, I give advice along the way on how to see each object in its best light, by using different eyepieces and techniques like averted vision.
As you work your way through these lessons, you're going to have seen six different nebulae, five galaxies, and a star cluster. Whatsmore, you'll be an accomplished backyard astronomer!
Own All Forty Lessons for
One Very Low Price
For the last eighteen months, you've only been able to access this course as part of a subscription to the Virtual Astronomy Club. Now, I'm selling all forty lessons as a stand-alone guide that you have lifetime access to, including all future updates.
You can grab instant access to the whole course for just $29.97... which is less than the cost of an average telescope eyepiece.
Oh, and there's no risk! You can try the course out for 30 days and, if it's not for you, you can have a full refund with no questions asked.
To own your copy of the Beginner's Guide to Backyard Astronomy, click the button below and complete the payment form.
Later tonight, you could be spying your first planet or DSO!