Sky Instruction constellation & star
identification / how to use your telescope
Learn about the wonderful night sky
(photo copyright Dennis Mammana, dennismammana.com)
You can "rent" John for an hour
or more to get a customized tour of the night
sky or instruction on how to use your
telescope (or both). John will customize the
stargazing session to meet your needs. Do you
wish to learn the constellations? To know
about movements in the sky? To better
understand meteors and meteor showers? Or just
to learn about the wonders of the beautiful
dark night sky overhead? John will provide
individual or small group instruction under
the night sky, tailored for you and your
John is familiar with most
telescopes and can assist you in learning how
to operate yours. If you have a telescope that
is going unused or under-used, John can help
you learn how to operate it safely and
properly with hints on how to point it and
what to look at. He can troubleshoot defective
telescopes but cannot repair them. He can
recommend additional eyepieces and accessories
to make your telescope operate more
$40 / hour; individual or small
Star Parties with a Telescope This is a perfect activity to cap a birthday
party or other special event, and it will make for a
very memorable evening.
John's computerized and motorized
telescope ready for a night of observing.
John loves to talk about the sky
and to interpret its wonders. He's done this for
over 50 years, both as a hobby and professionally,
and very few people do it better. John points out
constellations and bright stars, whichever planets
are visible, and the Milky Way with his green
laser pointer, and provides endless anecdotes and
insights relating to the history of the
constellations, the birth, life, and death of
stars, distances in space, our place within the
Milky Way Galaxy, how the sky changes with time,
and much more. People are amazed at how many
interesting things there are to know about the sky
overhead, and John puts on an entertaining show
that many people claim is the highlight of the
The evening is a combination of
naked-eye stargazing and looking at a variety of
through a motorized and computerized telescope --
planets and the moon when visible, star clusters,
nebulas, distant galaxies, and more.
$60 / hour; limited to 6 people.
and Tell" recommended "Plan-B" for rained-out star parties
John highly recommends this as an alternate activity
for clouded-out or rained-out star parties so the show
can go on. This is an unsolicited letter from a
all still talking about the wonderful experience
we had with you. You made a HUGE impression on our
boys. You have struck a real interest in astronomy
with them. We have noticed that they are both
looking up at the sky at night. Too many questions
that I can't answer.”
Close and Personal with Meteorites
pieces of other planets that fall to earth. They
are the oldest things you
will ever touch and they tell us what the planets
were like long ago. John has
accumulated a collection of choice meteorites from
around the world and beyond,
and in this up-close and personal presentation you
will hold a variety of
meteorites while he tells stories of their origins
and histories. This is not a
lecture on mineralogy; it’s a show-and-tell full
of anecdotes, stories,
histories, and amazing facts.
The maximum recommended group size
is a dozen as the meteorites are passed around for all
to see and handle up close.
$200 / 70 minutes
John will supply a small iron
meteorite valued at $50 for one lucky person to take
Kitchen Comet (offered by special arrangement
John cooking a kitchen comet for
children and their parents in California.
John cooks a "kitchen comet" out of
dry ice and household ingredients and explains what
comets are, why they appear the way they do, and
relates them to asteroids, meteors, and meteorites
(with actual meteorites to see and touch). It
entertains people of all ages from the very young to
the old and jaded, and he has made a comet for
groups as diverse as youngsters in a children's
museum to CNN Headline News.
$150 / 30-40 minutes
For outdoor night-time events guests
should dress warmly. It is chillier at night than
expected when sitting or standing still.
Guests should bring binoculars if they
have them, and flashlights. Guests should bring
their own folding chairs for comfort.
For outdoor events John will use a
voice amplification system for groups larger than 10
It is not OK to charge admission for
the event without prior approval from John. Rates
listed are for private events. For commercial events
or events where admission is charged, contact John.
John will assist with ideas for
Heavy clouds or rain cancels
night-time events. The event can proceed with half
cloud cover. John highly recommends his meteorite
show-and-tell as a backup activity.
One hour minimum; then prorated for as
long as the activity last.
If you don't see the program here that you had
in mind, contact John to see what special arrangements can be
made. John might be interested in accompanying your group on
your cruise, river trip, or expedition and present nightly
programs in exchange for passage for two.
100 percent of proceeds earned by StargazingAdventures.org are
donated to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) to further their
objective of reducing light pollution worldwide. John is the first
Lifetime Member of IDA.
John's does not receive postal mail regularly
while traveling. Contact him by emailing "john" followed by
the "at" symbol and "StargazingAdventures_dot_org".