Stargazing Adventures Programs
… bringing the night sky
instruction by astronomer, author, and TV personality John
John offers stargazing
programs for individuals, small groups, and the public.
Individual Night Sky
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 guests.
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 efficiently.
$40 / hour; individual or small group
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
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 week.
Inquire as to the type of telescope that is
currently available. The evening is a combination of
naked-eye stargazing and looking at a variety of objects
through a telescope -- planets and the moon when
visible, star clusters, nebulas, distant galaxies, and
$60 / hour; limited to 6 people.
Meteorite "Show 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 father:
are 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.”
John has accumulated a collection of choice
meteorites from around the world and beyond, and in this
hour-long presentation he tells their fabulous stories. This
is not a lecture on mineralogy -- it's a
show-and-tell accompanied by about 60 visuals that is full
of anecdotes, stories, history, 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 home.
The event will be held in John's home in
RoadRunner in Borrego Springs through March 30, 2020.
(offered by special arrangement only)
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
$150 / 30-40 minutes