Observatory and the night sky

Discovering the Universe for Yourself

Discovering the Universe for Yourself is for anyone who has ever looked up into the sky and wondered what it was all about. No previous knowledge of astronomy is necessary and neither is a telescope. However, if you have a telescope and feel you do not know how to use it properly, this is your chance to learn about it and actually use it. 

The four-session program will cover a basic introduction to astronomy, why we see what we see in the sky, and how we can see it even better, as well as cover some basic astrophotography topics in case you’ve always wanted to capture the night sky using a camera.  We will also learn orientation in the sky, finding your way in the sky, using a star chart, how to identify stars, constellations, planets, and deep sky objects. We will also discuss naked eye observing techniques, and using binoculars and telescopes to view celestial objects.

This lifelong learning program is open to all ages and abilities - a great opportunity for parents and their young astronomers to do something together and prepare them for a lifetime of observing, discovering, and enjoying the sky.

Discovering the Universe for Yourself is a four-session workshop meeting on Thursday evenings and Saturday nights for two weeks.  Thursday sessions will be held in a traditional classroom in Portsmouth, NH and Saturday sessions will be held at the UNH Observatory in Durham, NH.

Instructor Bios


Discovering the Universe for Yourself

  • John S. Gianforte

    John S. Gianforte

    John Gianforte is Director of the UNH Oberservatory where his main focus is to ensure that the observatory remains a key resource to the university and all who visit, including staff, students and the community at large.  He is also a science writer and adjunct faculty member at Granite State College.

This course is currently unavailable.