Stargazing Adventures Programs

… bringing the night sky to you!

Private astronomy instruction by astronomer, author, and TV personality John Mosley

John offers stargazing programs for individuals, small groups, and the public.


Individual Night 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 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.

See Notes below.

$35 / hour for 1 or 2 persons

$10 / hour each additional person

with telescope add $100



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 evening.

Mak

John's computerized and motorized 8-inch Maksutov 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.

John travels with a superb 8-inch custom-made Maksutov telescope which he controls with his iPad. As an option, he will set up the telescope and point it toward a variety of celestial objects including the moon and planets (whichever are visible), star clusters, nebulas, and distant galaxies. If the group is small everyone gets a leisurely look.

The maximum recommended group size is 20, especially with a telescope, although John speaks to groups as small as a handful and as large as 60. Perhaps surprisingly, most people remain a full two hours!

$200 / two hours
plus travel if over 20 minutes each way




Meteorite "Show and Tell"
recommended "Plan-B" for rained-out star parties
meteor

John highly recommends this as an alternate activity for clouded-out or rained-out star parties so the show can go on.

 

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 20 as the meteorites are passed around for all to see and handle up close.

$200 / one hour

(For an additional $25 John will supply a small iron meteorite valued at $50 for one lucky person to take home.)


 

Kitchen Comet
(offered by special arrangement only)

comet

John cooking a kitchen comet in a children's clothing store 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

Add the meteorite show-and-tell as described above for an additional $150.

 

 

Notes:

  • 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 folding chairs if the site permits, for comfort.
  • The host is responsible for arranging for the site to be as dark as possible by extinguishing or covering outdoor lighting. If the site is on a lawn, the host should make sure that the lawn sprinklers do not come on!
  • For outdoor events John will use a voice amplification system for groups larger than 10 persons.
  • It is not OK to charge admission for the event without prior approval from John. (See last note below.)
  • John will assist with ideas for publicity.
  • Heavy clouds or rain cancels night-time events. The event can proceed with half cloud cover or less. John highly recommends his meteorite show-and-tell as a backup activity.
  • John needs to drive his car to the observing site to unload his telescope, and to park adjacent. Allow 20 minutes minimum to set up.
  • Rates listed are for private events. For commercial events or events where admission is charged, contact John.
  • Rates assume a driving time of no more than about 20 minutes each way.

 

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's does not receive postal mail regularly while traveling. Contact him by emailing "john" followed by the "at" symbol and "StargazingAdventures_dot_org". His cell phone number is 435-773-7870.


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