An introduction to astronomy for children ages 8-18 (and their parents!)


Contact me at

Introduction to Astronomy: This course consists of a series of lectures and presentations describing the Universe surrounding us, from the objects in our solar system, to the stars in our galaxy, to the most distant galaxies that Man has discovered. The material presented assumes no previous knowledge of astronomy. We describe the nature of astronomical objects in great detail, and introduce the physical processes that govern their formation, progression and interactions. In addition, on each class night with clear skies, we observe from our front yard (in Southbury, CT) through our 10" telescope - viewing planets, double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies, as well as artificial satellites and the occasional meteor.

Classes will meet every other Wednesday at 7pm starting in mid-August, and ending in mid to late Spring, 2019. There are a total of 19 biweekly sessions.

The History of Spaceflight: This course is available for ages 10 and up, or for any student who has completed the Introduction to Astronomy course.  

This course will start with a brief review of the early experiments with rockets and balloons, and proceed through the development of increasingly powerful rockets for military use in the 20th century.  The bulk of the course will start at the dawn of the space race following World War II.  We will cover both the American and Soviet space programs from the mid-1950s through the incredible progress made in the 1960s leading to the landing of man on the moon in 1969.  Then we will proceed to cover in depth each of the Apollo moon landings in the early 1970s, before moving on to cover the early space stations (Skylab, Salyut, Mir), the Space Shuttle program, and the construction and missions of the International Space Station.  The course will end with the development of private spaceflight, and a look ahead to the missions to Mars. 

The course runs for 19 sessions on the weeks between sessions of the Introductory course.  Observation time may be included on clear nights after class.  

Location: Southbury, CT

Cost: The price for the class is $250 per student. Payments made in full in the first month of class are discounted to $225 per student, otherwise payment can be made monthly. Parents attend (and are encouraged to attend) for free. 

Tonight's Observing Conditions

Current sky over Southbury, CT

    Skip available courses
    Skip site news

    Site news

    Picture of Aaron Turner
    Lunar Eclipse This Sunday night (1/20)
    by Aaron Turner - Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 7:53 PM

    This Sunday night, starting at the late hour of 10:30, a total lunar eclipse begins, easily visible from Connecticut.  The eclipse will reach totality near midnight, and end around 2am on Monday morning.  Originally, this looked like a very promising event, with Monday a holiday for some folks.  ...

    Read the rest of this topic
    (281 words)
    Picture of Aaron Turner
    Perseid Meteor Shower this Weekend
    by Aaron Turner - Tuesday, 7 August 2018, 7:36 PM

    The best (maybe second best) meteor shower of the year occurs this weekend - the Perseids.  This year the astronomical conditions are nearly perfect - no moon will be visible throughout the night.  The only wildcard is the weather.  Right now the forecast is all about scattered thunderstorm for ...

    Read the rest of this topic
    (425 words)
    Picture of Aaron Turner
    A newsletter opportunity
    by Aaron Turner - Wednesday, 27 June 2018, 8:48 PM

    We had our final class of the year this Monday, and as we were breaking up, one of the parents told me we needed to keep in touch.  On the spot I came up with the possibility of creating a newsletter to send out to former class members.  Over the past two days that idea has solidified, as I ...

    Read the rest of this topic
    (247 words)