If you’re ready to advance your knowledge of amateur astronomy or casual stargazing, Cosmic Pursuits has a full range of courses and e-books to help you learn more about the night sky, select telescopes, and see hundreds of deep-sky sights. All of these courses and e-books are available online so you can access the material anytime and anywhere. Many can be downloaded to your own computer so you have the notes at your fingertips. Our currently available courses and e-books are listed below.
Basic Astronomy Courses
• Guide to the Night Sky and Basic Astronomy (FREE). Here you find basic guides and articles to help you learn the night sky and the major stars and constellations. You discover the amazing range of objects you can see in the night sky, from the Moon and planets to distant galaxies. You also get clear advice on how to read a star chart, navigate the night sky, and choose a telescope and binoculars for backyard astronomy. (Hosted at our sister site OneMinuteAstronomer.com)
• How To Choose a Telescope (FREE). If you’re looking to buy your first telescope, start by checking out this video series from Anacortes Telescope. In this series, you’ll learn about options for telescope configurations including reflecting telescopes, refracting telescopes, and compound telescopes. And you’ll cover the basics of telescope mounts and accessories like eyepieces, solar filters, and Barlow lenses. (Hosted at our sister site OneMinuteAstronomer.com)
Comprehensive Astronomy Courses
• Fundamentals of Stargazing. A comprehensive year-long course that shows you how to understand the night sky, choose and use telescopes and binoculars, and see the most beautiful and fascinating sights in the heavens including the Moon, Sun, planets, comets and asteroids, and thousands of sights visible in the deep sky.
• What to See in a Small Telescope. A series of four concise guides that offer seasonal tours of some 400 stars, galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae that are visible with a modest telescope. Available individually, or as an all-in-one package. Ideal for observers with some experience with their telescopes, or for new stargazers wondering what’s within reach of their three-inch (or larger) telescope.
The following e-books are available at Amazon.com (and in many country-specific Amazon stores around the world):
This e-book is a collection of more than 100 astronomy articles to help you discover what to see in the night sky and how to see it. Most of these articles take just a minute or two to read, but they will make you think and wonder for long afterward about the grand sights you can see in the night sky from just outside your door. Includes tips on equipment and seeing, tours of the night sky, and tales of famous astronomers. Learn more here…
The Bucket List for Backyard Stargazers shows you how, where, and when to see 11 of the most extraordinary astronomical sights and events that every stargazer– every person– should see at least once in their lives. After you see these 11 sights, then whatever else happens in your life, you can be assured you’ve seen some truly remarkable things that few people– even the most celebrated professional astronomers– ever get to see. Learn more here…
A modern version of an astronomy ‘coffee table’ book, The Armchair Astronomer, Volume 1, takes you on a tour of nebulae, immense and majestic clouds of glowing gas and dust where stars are born and die. With dozens of high-resolution images of nebulae by master astrophotographer Terry Hancock, this e-book will delight and enlighten “armchair astronomers” who wish to learn more about the workings of the universe. Learn more…