The Milky-Way.Kiwi Telescope Course

Telescopes are our window into the universe but they can also burn a big hole in your wallet and be a huge source of frustration if you don't get the right one.

Join us in Wairarapa
for stargazing

Or, be an armchair astronomer

If you can’t make it to Wairarapa or New Zealand,  learn astronomy online with us and SLOOH. 

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Our eyes can only see about 4000 stars or so, if you want to see any more then you’ll need a pair of binoculars or a telescope, and with those then a whole universe will open up. You might already have a telescope sitting around at home, one you got years ago or one that found you, as a gift or similar. The job of a telescope is to be used, it should be collecting photons from across the universe and delivering them to your eyes. For this to happen then you need the right combination of telescope, mount and accessories to get the most out of your investment.

If any of the following questions apply to you then you might want to think about the Milky-Way.Kiwi Telescope Course as we can help answer those questions:

Have you got a dusty old telescope sitting in your garage and you don’t know where to start to use it? Have you been gifted a telescope from well meaning friend or relative but you’re not sure how it works? Are you just getting into astronomy and want to know what sort of telescope would match your interests? Are you thinking of buying a telescope for someone and want to know about what you’re buying?

We run telescope courses at Stonehenge Aotearoa every month, starting from 4 July. They are four hours long from 2pm to 6pm and are followed by a telescope viewing session, if the weather permits. Get tickets here.

The course is aimed at getting you ready to use a telescope or buy a telescope. We know that sometimes telescopes can be quite daunting and to get the most out of them requires a little bit of training and some hands on experience. We focus on building an understanding of the parts of a telescope and all of the accessories and attachments that help make them work.

We start by covering how they work, what happens to the light that goes into the telescope and ends up in your eye. Then we show you how to calculate magnification and many other attributes that will assist you in determining the right telescope and eyepiece combination. We’ll have a look inside an eyepiece and talk about how they work and which designs are suitable for the various objects to look at in the night sky.

We’ll go inside a telescope to see what is happening to the light and how that affects the image that you see.

A telescope is not much use without a mount and these can be as complex, and often more expensive, than the telescope they are holding. Depending on what you want to do with your telescope, such as photography or visual observing, will determine the kind of mount that will best work for you. The course is designed to cover all of the questions you’ve got about telescopes so you can confidently browse the internet for a telescope knowing exactly what is good and what you should avoid.

During the course we also show you how to look after your telescope, what sort of maintenance you need to do on it, if any, and how to collimate a reflecting telescope.

A model of our reflecting telescope that we virtually dismantle to show you all the bits that make it work.

If you already have a telescope and want to bring it along so we can walk you through how to get the best out of it then that is welcome. We are not affiliated with any telescope retailer or brand so you can rely on unbiased advice that is based on our own experiences and helping many people get the most out of their telescopes.

We like to take things apart and see how they work, fortunately we’re getting better at putting them back together again. Don’t worry we’ll only dismantle our own stuff.

If the weather is good, then after the telescope course you are welcome to stay around for our Star Safari telescope viewing session where we take you through a tour of the night sky with our telescopes including our large 400mm telescope and demonstrate the points we cover in the course.

Join us after the course for our Star Safari night sky viewing session and check out some galaxies, nebulae and clusters.