The objective of the NOVA (New Observers to Visual Astronomy) Program is to provide information and instruction to new and beginner level amateur astronomers.

All NOVA sessions are held at the Hamilton Centre Observatory. This site offers a couple of advantages, including darker skies, a heated clubhouse and access to the 16” RC. Meetings every two weeks, depending on the Instructors schedule and other observatory events.

Each session begins with classroom instruction and group discussions. There are many opportunities for participants to ask questions and to prepare for the evenings observing session. Participants can take advantage of the on site library for reference material including sky atlas’, star charts, etc.

Once the classroom activities are complete the group heads outside for observing, weather and time permitting! This is a great opportunity to get hands-on instruction and guidance, whether you are looking for help in setting up your scope, or trying to learn your way around the sky.

Each participant is given a list of items to observe during the time between the sessions. This allows members to practice some of the things that they have learned during each session.

Here is an outline of the lessons planned:
•   Observing
•   Motions of the Sky and Seasons
•   The Solar System
•   Telescope and Binocular Types and Using Them
•   The Moon and Eclipses
•   Charts, North, Distance, Position and Brightness
•   Star Designations, RA, Dec. and Deep Sky Objects

The intent is to have the program finish PRIOR to our annual banquet in June, where course completion certificates and the Explore The Universe certificates will be awarded.

There is a suggested donation of $5 per night to cover the cost of handouts, binders and other course materials.

The course is open to all members of the Hamilton Centre regardless of age, experience or knowledge level, and seating is limited.

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