Introduction to Optical Telescopes and How to Use Them (Online)

  • Wednesday, September 09, 2020
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
  • 4 sessions
  • Wednesday, September 09, 2020, 7:00 PM 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 7:00 PM 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 7:00 PM 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 7:00 PM 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • Zoom Room 1, Class Code ME090920FP
  • 12


  • Free to Members but please register so you can receive the link to join.

    Please note that registration will close one day before the start date.

Registration is closed

**This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.** 

This is a joint BARN and Battle Point Astronomical Association (BPAA) class. In this four session class students will learn the parts and function of telescopes, and how to use them to observe celestial objects. Class format will be interactive and will include demonstration and commentary by the instructor with ample opportunity for participants to ask questions; curated videos demonstrating important concepts and techniques; and discussion. Participants who have telescopes are encouraged to have them on hand during class and share them on-screen via Zoom screen sharing.

  • Session 1 - What is a Telescope? Refractors and reflectors. Parts, function, and use. Introduction to the sky. What can you see with a telescope, and when can you see it?
  • Session 2 - How does it work, Part 1: Aperture, focal length, focal ratio, eyepieces, magnification. How to choose?
  • Session 3 - How does it work, Part 2: Equatorial and Alt-Azimuth mounts. Right ascension and declination. Putting it all together.
  • Session 4 - Observing: How does the sky work? Finding celestial objects; planning your observations.


  • Registration for this class will close on September 8th, one day before the class start date.
  • A link will be sent to the email you registered with 1 day prior to each session to join the Zoom online meeting. Please watch for this email.
  • This class will be taught via the Zoom video conferencing program. For a great video on how to use Zoom, watch this tutorial.
  • Familiarity with telescopes and astronomy is NOT required; beginners are welcome! 

  • Class Duration: 4 Sessions of 1.5 hours each: Wednesdays, September 9, 16, 23, 30, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Instructor: Frank Petrie, Board President of Battle Point Astronomical Association 

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