A Trip Around the Sun: A monthly series of presentations and observing

An RFO docent giving a Your Universe lecture.

As each month passes, the sun “moves” to a new sign of the zodiac, and our evening sky reveals a new region of our universe for us to explore. This year we are offering a series of twelve evenings of exploration at RFO, called “Your Universe”. Each month will be dedicated to a different zodiacal constellation and its neighbors, planets, prominent deep space objects, and just enough astrophysics to bring it together.

The presentations will begin at dusk. Afterward, weather permitting, we will step out under beautiful dark skies to locate the constellations and other objects discussed. Then we will move on to RFO’s three main telescopes for deeper examinations.

Upcoming 2023 Classes

We are done for 2023! Thank you for joining us! We will announce 2024 classes soon.

You can purchase tickets for these events here!

Where: At The Robert Ferguson Observatory. Park in the gravel area near the horse corrals just outside the gate to the Group Camp/Observatory site. You do not need to pay the park day use fee to attend the class.

When: Presentations begin promptly at the times noted in the calendar and last approximately 90 minutes. 

Interested in other events? Check out our calendar here!

Past 2023 Classes

December 2023: The End of the Universe; The Shape of Space; Einstein’s Eclipse, Gravitational Lensing; Dark Matter; Dark Energy; Heat Death; Aries, Cetus, Perseus, Triangulum, Uranus

November 2023: The Big Bang Theory; Standard Theory; Microwave Background; Inflation; Pisces, Andromeda, Cassaiopeia; and Jupiter

October 2023: Gravity Waves and Non-Visible Telescopes; Radio, Microwave; Infrared; X-ray; Gamma ray; LIGO; Aquarius, Cepheus, Pegasus, Great Square of Pegasus; Neptune

September 2023: Galaxies; Types; Formation, evolution, merger; Astrophysical jets; Capricornus, Cygnus, Vulpecula, Delphinus, Sagitta; Saturn

August 2023: The Milky Way; Structure, arms, bulge, halo, central black hole; Dust, dark lanes, dark nebula; Where we are, where other objects are; Globular Clusters; Motion; Local group, LMC, SMC, merger; Sagittarius, Scutum, Lyra, Aquila, Summer Triangle

July 2023: Gravity and Black Holes; What is gravity?; How stellar black holes form; Super massive black holes; Scorpius, Ophiucus, Serpens, Hercules; Venus

June 2023: Dead Stars and Other Exotics; Nova, Super Nova; White dwarf, neutron stars; Pulsars, Magnetars, X-ray & gamma ray sources; Libra, Bootes, Draco, Corona Borealis

May 2023: Scale of the Universe; Distance to the planets, AU; Nearest stars, lightyear; Nearest Galaxies; Farthest Galaxies, Z; Size of the Universe; Virgo, Coma Berenices, Canes Venatici, Corvus, Crater, Sextans

April 2023: The Cosmic Distance Ladder; Transit of Venus, measuring the Solar System; Parallax; Standard candles: Cephid variables, Type 1A super nova; Redshift, expansion of the Universe; Leo, Leo Minor, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor; Venus

March 2023: Reading Between the Lines , Spectroscopy & Photometry; The HR Diagram; Chemical composition; Redshift, blueshift; Spectroscopic binaries; Variable and Binary stars; Exoplanets; Cancer, Lynx, Hydra

February 2023: The Life of Stars & the Galactic Zoo; Star forming nebula, open clusters, planetary nebula, SNR; Brown dwarf, Red Giants; Dead stars; Gemini, Auriga, Lepus, Camelapardalis, Kemble’s Cascade

January 2023: Motion in the Night Sky; Using Star Charts, Planospheres; Stellar Magnitude; Zodiac, Ecliptic, obliquity, precession, Epoch, etc; The Solar System’s Zoo (planets, dwarf planets, minor planets, comets, meteors…); Taurus, Orion, Canis Major & Minor, Winter Hexagons; Mars

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