CommuniVERSITY

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As I mentioned on the main page CommuniVersity at the Unviversity of Cincinnati offers a few classes, hosted and taught by the folks from the Cincinnati Observatory. They cover the history of the Observatory and basic stargazing. As of March 2019 they cost $35 each, and generally interesting, but pretty basic. Here are my detailed thoughts.

Behind the Scenes at the Observatory #1207 3.5-stars.png

The official course description is below. Most of the Observatory programs include the opportunity to look their one of their vintage telescopes, which is pretty cool, but they also offer this on "Astronomy Thursdays, Fridays, And Saturdays" for a small (like $5-7) fee. That alone is pretty cool, and they offer Sunday tours of the Observatory as well. I've not taken that tour, but my sense is this is a very little bit more extensive, including checking out the vintage high precision clocks in the basement. Knowing what I know now, I'd probably just do the Sunday tour and pick a clear Friday to drop in and view through the telescopes. Click here to register.

Look to the heavens through the oldest continuously used telescope in the world; explore the depths of the 1873 observatory including its attic and basement; and learn why President Adams laid the observatory's original cornerstone in 1843. Hear the fascinating history of the founding of the observatory; investigate how the 19th century astronomers determined time for the city of Cincinnati; discover why the observatory was designated a National Historic Landmark; and find out what is in store for the future. The Moon will be viewed through the telescope following the program, weather permitting.


Instructor is: John Ventre, the historian with the Cincinnati Observatory.

Stargazing 101 #1209 3-stars.png

The official course description is below. Most of the Observatory programs include the opportunity to look their one of their vintage telescopes, which is pretty cool, but they also offer this on "Astronomy Thursdays, Fridays, And Saturdays" for a small (like $5-7) fee. Dean is the main astronomer at the Observatory, and he's reasonably entertaining. The class was OK, using a program (I don't recall the name, maybe Starry Night) similar to Stellarium to show the constellations today versus over the course of history, and teaches you how to use a free star chart. They also sell planispheres during class, and he demonstrated Mitaka, a Japenese program that allows you to virtually tour the universe, which was cool. Generally, I thought the class was way too basic for my needs/desires but this was probably the most useful of the ones I've attended so far. No current class offerings.

Constellations change in the heavens from season to season. In this class you will study the imaginative figures we call constellations. Learn to use a planisphere to find any constellation at any given time and date. If the weather is clear, we will go outside to find many of the brighter constellations; and you will also have the option of looking through the observatory telescope.


Instructor is: Dean Regas, the outreach astronomer with the Cincinnati Observatory.

Tour of the Universe #134313 2.5-stars.png

The official course description is below. Most of the Observatory programs include the opportunity to look their one of their vintage telescopes, which is pretty cool, but they also offer this on "Astronomy Thursdays, Fridays, And Saturdays" for a small (like $5-7) fee. Aaron is the assistant astronomer or outreach scientist, I can't recall the exact title, but I really like him. He's usually the guy tasked to point the main telescope for open/public events, and I liked his class OK, but it was very similar to the Stargazing class that Dean offered, without the some of the chart detail, so I was a little disappointed. I think they should differentiate these classes better. No current class offerings.

Explore space from the Earth and beyond! Fly past the moon, the planets, the stars, and galaxies to the edge of what is known. Bring your questions about the Cosmos, and our Observatory Scientist will answer as many as he can. View through the oldest operational telescope in the country, weather permitting. Ad Astra!


Instructor is: Aaron Eiben, a long-time Presenter at the Cincinnati Observatory with bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the University of Cincinnati.

Binocular Astronomy #1042

I have not yet taken this course. Click here to register.

How to Use YOUR Telescope #10322

I have not yet taken this course. Click here to register.