AAA Astronomy Classes


The Amateur Astronomers Association offers two small, inexpensive classes covering the fundamentals of the solar system, stars, and the universe. Descriptive Astronomy—for beginners—runs in the fall, followed by Physical Astronomy—for intermediate students—in the spring. Each class consists of six two-hour sessions with one session each week.

We currently have the following classes for our members:


AAA Fall Astronomy Class 2014 – Astronomy Basics – October-November 2014

Instructor: David Kiefer

A survey of the basics of astronomy.  Introduces celestial events that the ancients knew well and reviews their modern explanations.  Themes include the motions of the Earth and the Moon, constellations, objects in the Solar System, the seasons, stars, and galaxies, and key historical figures in western astronomy.

Wednesday, Sept 30Earth, Stars, and Constellations: hierarchy of objects beyond Earth, Powers of Ten video, rotation of the Earth, the North Star, constellations and asterisms, revolution of the Earth

Wednesday, Oct 14The Planets: the five ancient “wanderers”, major and minor planets, the “demotion” of Pluto, retrograde motion, the Ecliptic, the Zodiac, nebular hypotheses

Wednesday, Oct 28 The Moon: phases of the Moon, eclipses, tides, elliptical orbits, why one side of the Moon always faces Earth

Wednesday, Nov 11The Solar System: measurements of astronomical distances, reason for the seasons, inventory of the Solar System, asteroids, meteors, comets,  comparative sizes

Wednesday, Nov 18 Stars and Galaxies: atomic fusion, star sizes & classes, the Milky Way, nebulae, other galaxies

Wednesday, Nov 25 – Historical Figures in Astronomy: Geocentric Model vs Heliocentric model, Brahe, Kepler and the laws of planetary motion, Gallileo


About the Instructor:
David Kiefer to be provided

Registration:  to be announced

Archive of past astronomy classes