COLUMBIA – The State Museum is offering a new workshop on Jan. 20 and Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. These hands-on workshops are designed for anyone interested in learning how to set up telescopes, how to use them, purchase them and how to locate celestial objects in the night sky. Each workshop will be led by museum astronomers in the Boeing Observatory classroom.

Museum astronomers will show guests the basics of telescope observing and how to assemble their own star wheels to help them navigate the night sky with ease. Guests can bring in their own telescopes to practice setting up and viewing with help from State Museum astronomy educators. The State Museum will have additional telescopes for guests that do not own one, but still wish to attend the workshop.

“Our team of astronomers have years of practical experience with small telescopes,” said Matthew Whitehouse, State Museum observatory manager. “This is the perfect opportunity for families to get professional advice and hands-on experience on not only how to use telescopes, but advice on purchasing one as well.”

In the event of inclement weather, guests will experience the basics of telescope observing in an indoor format. Each ticket includes a night-vision-friendly red flashlight to take home. 

Children must be accompanied by an adult for each workshop, but parents and chaperones do not need to purchase tickets to the workshop. Tickets for each workshop are $20 for general public, $15 for museum members and $5 for Astrokids members. Tickets can be purchased online at scmuseum.org.

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