Beginners are welcome

Be sure to check out the Beginners Corner (link is in the left toolbar). 
Comprehensive lists of resources are available.

ASEM Beginners meetings are scheduled for the first Thursday evenings of the month. 
Start time:  7:00pm Central Time. 
Place:  Weldon Spring Interpretive Site (where ASEM meetings take place).
Address is 7295 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO 63304
Check the Home page of this website before you drive to the Beginner Meeting. Location, date, or time may change due to circumstances, and changes are announced on the Home page.

Visit this website for a comprehensive view on how to get started in Astronomy: Beginner Info

Here is another web page that discusses magnitudes and how our eyes see telescope targets: Visual Considerations

Scroll down to the bottom for link to a "Beginner's Checklist" and "Observing Tools."

STELLARIUM is a free downloadable software package that is a planetarium simulator and so much more.  Come to ASEM Beginner's meetings to find out more of Stellarium's features.  Here is a link to the Stellarium website.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the benefits of astronomy software.  I remember loading SKYGLOBE onto my primitive computer back in the day...
when disks were truly floppy.  Even in this digital age, here is a paper resource I can't live without.

The RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) Observer's Handbook is my handy quick go to observing buddy. 

You can enjoy it as a Beginner and continue to use it as you advance your knowledge and skills.  It is a fine resource for planning observing sessions. 

Another comprehensive software 
package is called Starry Night.  There is a charge for the download  The current version is over 500 MB.  If you want to try out Starry Night, let me know and I can show you its features on my laptop.  Email me at

Here's a good link Stardate Link
"Stardate" is a long-running radio program sponsored by the University of Texas McDonald Observatory.  Radio shows are linked on the website for your enjoyment.  The website has lots of friendly, useful information about what to see in the sky.  Monthly Moon Phases

This is the official seal of the state of Kansas (love to Yvonne!).

The motto of Kansas is "Ad Astra Per Aspera," which is Latin for "to the stars through hard work."  Here's the deal with the pursuit of astronomy.  There's no way around it, you will need to do some work.  For a lot of us, this work is play, enjoyable tasks we look forward to doing.  And what work needs to be done?  Here's a short list.

  • Asking questions. 
  • Listening. 
  • Reading. 
  • Mouse clicking. 
  • Spending time outdoors, in the heat of summer and in the cold of winter. Very late at night and very early in the morning.
  • Building up confidence.  Be brave!  Don't be afraid to make mistakes, believe me, that's how we learn.  Don't ever be too embarrassed to ask a question  Everybody else was a beginner once.  And NOBODY is an expert at everything. 
  • Accept the help.  People in astronomy tend to be helpful, and many enjoy sharing what they have learned.  Let them talk.  You will find that people are your greatest learning resource.