Astro Course Handouts & PowerPoints +

This page contains PDFs of the handouts and PowerPoints that I use for my beginning non-credit Astro Course that I conduct at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona and elsewhere. These materials are provided for attendees and anyone else who wants to learn or create their own course. Clubs or others may use these materials free of charge for astronomy outreach/education.

Handouts as PDF Files

Information sheets, overviews, to get you going on these topics. I use these in support of my PowerPoint presentations.

PowerPoints as PDF files

These are PDFs of my PowerPoints

10 minute Tour of the
Night Sky
Telescope Mounts
Observing Sun, Moon, Planets, +
Observing Sun, Moon, Planets +
Deep Sky Objects
Observing Deep Sky Objects

Telescope Stores, Telescope Manufacturers, Astro Magazines, Observatories, plus

Links to Telescopes Stores in US & Canada

Besides the two telescope stores in Tucson, the following stores have been in business along time.

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes Woodland Hills, California

OPT In California but online only

Land Sea & Sky Houston, Texas

Orion Telescopes Online only / Sell their own scopes, too.

High Point Scientific Montague, New Jersey

Company Seven Astro Optics Montpelier, Maryland

La Maison de l’Astronomie Montreal, Quebec, Canada

All-Star Telescope Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Links to Major Telescope
Manufacturer’s Websites

Usually, you will purchase these products from the stores listed above.



Tele Vue

Vixen A Japanese telescope company—good quality

Takahashi A Japanese telescope companyexcellent quality



Explore Scientific

Links to Telescopes Stores in Tucson, Arizona

5757 N Oracle Rd Suite 103, Tucson, AZ 85704
Phone: (520) 292-5010
Comments: This is a GREAT telescope store that has been in operation for a good 25 years or more. They are the inventors/manufacturer of highly sought after astrophotography equipment. But, they also have great customer service for beginners to advanced amateurs. I have known Dean, the owner, for a long time—he and his staff are the best!


Stellar Vision Astronomy & Science Shop
3721 E 37th St, Tucson, AZ 85713
Phone: (520) 571-0877
Comments: Frank, who owns the store has been around for at least 30 years. He has a huge inventory of older scopes on display that is a great trip down memory lane. Frank specializes in the installation of observatory domes for amateurs. The store may be somewhat difficult to find the first time because it is located in an industrial area.

Phoenix, AZ
Ironically, even though Phoenix is an extremely large city and in an area with good clear skies, its telescope stores have been few, and never last long. Currently, as of early 2023, there are no dedicated telescope stores in Phoenix that I know of.


Cloudy Nights is the most popular website for amateur astronomy blogs, info and to buy/sell telescope/astro equipment. It is free to join.

Amateur Astronomy/Telescope Magazine

There are two magazines available to amateur astronomers and I only recommend Astronomy magazine for beginners. Sky & Telescope was the magazine of choice for years but they are struggling to survive as a business. And, many of the writers from Sky & Telescope have migrated to Astronomy magazine. Additionally, Astronomy magazine writes it articles geared more towards the beginner. Finally, Astronomy magazine’s website has a wealth of free astronomical information including current events happening in the sky.

Links to professional Observatories or other astronomy venues in Arizona that provide tours or observing opportunities. Almost all require reservations. Usually not open year long. And, some have been closed but are reopening in 2023.

Mirror Lab Make giant telescope mirrors. Under the football stadium of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. TOURS
Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter On top of the big mountain immediately next to Tucson. TOURS & NIGHT PROGRAMS
Mt. Graham
Large observatory near Safford AZ. TOURS
Whipple Observatory Large observatory near Green Valley, AZ, about an hour from Tucson. TOURS
Kitt Peak
About 45 minutes from Tucson. TOURS & NIGHT PROGRAMS
Lowell Observatory Located in Flagstaff, AZ. TOURS & NIGHT PROGRAMS
Planetarium Located on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Best FREE Planetarium program

Stellarium (click for link) is a FREE planetarium program available for Windows and the Mac. It is full featured and has a multitude of options. It will take a little time to get aquainted but the investment is worthwhile if astronomy is an interest of yours. There are some aspects of the program that could work better but if you want to know what is happening in the sky for any date or time or place, this is the program.

What’s Out Tonight? is sponsored by Ken Press, publisher of astronomy books and charts.
Phone: (520) 743-3200 • Fax: (520) 743-3210 • Email: