Public Astronomy Nights at Farpoint

Viewing sky objects can happen in a number of ways. An observer may have a lst of objects to be studied, or just scan the sky and see what they find. Objects can be located and identified with star charts, either hardcopy or computerized. Some people take photographic images, others sketch what they see, some just look. There's always comparing of notes, sharing of observations, explaining and demonstrating, accompanied by coffee and other caffeine sources.

Equipment requirements: none required. However, due to tradition, experience and necessity, some or all of the following items are often brought by members or public to Farpoint during as public astronomy night:

binoculars star charts
telescope(s) coffee
red flashlights batteries
strong coffee food (preferably junk)
chairs, straight or lounge tables
blankets (seasonal) snacks
more coffee insect repellant (seasonal)
computers cameras


First, introduce yourself. We'd be glad to show you lots of neat stuff!

Some very basic rules:

  • No light unless it's red. Eyes take at least 20 minutes to re-adapt after exposure to white light.
  • Take some time to let your eyes dark-adapt before walking around between the telescopes; it's safer for everyone.
  • Let the astronomer operate their equipment for you; they're familiar with how it works, and you'll have better, faster results if they do the driving.
  • Don't use spray-on insect repellent around the telescopes, they can damage the optics.