BPAA offers astronomy courses

The Battle Point Astronomical Association is offering two new astronomy courses this fall in collaboration with the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District.

BPAAThe first, “Introduction to Amateur Astronomy — The Fall and Winter Sky”, begins Sept. 29 and runs for six class sessions on Thursdays through Nov. 3. Sessions run from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Each class includes astronomy lectures, working with telescopes, and learning about the fall and winter sky. Topics include telescopes and the art of observing, solar system objects, constellations, star hopping, planets, nebulas, galaxies, and more. If weather permits, there will be stargazing after each class. Cost is $49 and includes all six sessions.

The second class, “Advanced Amateur and Observational Astronomy”, begins Nov. 10 and runs for four class sessions on Thursdays through Dec. 8. There will be no session on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24. Sessions run from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Topics include constellations and the celestial sphere, stellar and galaxy evolution, making vs. buying telescopes, astrophotography, image processing, computer programs, and using computer-controlled telescopes like the 27.5″ scope in the association’s Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory. If weather permits, there will be stargazing after each class. Cost is $35 and includes all four sessions.

The classes will be taught by BPAA president Steve Ruhl and the association’s education director Dave Fong. Sessions will be held at the Ritchie Observatory in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island. Minimum age to attend is 14. Register online through the Parks District, download a mail-in form there, or call (206) 842-2306.

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