What We Do
Here at Focus Astronomy it is our mission to make astronomy as interactive and hands on as possible. Our universe is filled with amazing things and we want to share that with you! Our events can be customized to fit nearly any need that may arise be it day or night, we have it all!
What Focus has to offer
Our team has spent years working in astronomy outreach programs all across the southwest. This experience has led us to build a program that turns astronomy into an experience rather that just text in a book. We do this by providing different types of activities that can be assembled to build the ultimate outreach programs. We what to ensure we provide an program like no other. Below we have a short over view of all our program capabilities.
Viewing the night sky is something most people seem to have a small interest in. The universe is filled with amazing things to see and its our mission to show them to you!
Our stargazing events are designed to take you around the galaxy and beyond. During these events out team points out the visible constellations, bright stars and other easy to see objects. From scientific fact to ancient folk lore we try to make the night as interesting as possible.
A side from viewing with your naked eye Focus provides a collection of telescopes (3" to 28") for you to view the distant objects. From craters on the Moon, to Saturn's rings, to distant galaxies and nebulae there all kinds of objects within reach of our equipment. You can event capture an amazing image of the Moon through the telescope with your cell phone if the Moon is up. We offer several public stargazing programs that are opened to all ages. Please check out our Public Events tab in our Navigation Bar to find out about future events!
Solar/Day Time Observing
Astronomy is not just limited to the night, there is much to see during the day! While the stars are obscured we aim our (specialized) telescopes to the only star visible, the Sun! Focus has a collection of dedicated telescopes that allow us to view the Sun in three different wave lengths of light (White Light, H-Alpha and Calcium-H). While this provide an amazing view of our nearest star is also allows us to teach about subjects such as the Electromagnetic Spectrum and chemical make up of the Sun. Our solar equipment is completely safe and designed for this aspect of astronomy. DO NOT attempt to view the Sun without the proper equipment.
Another addition to our Solar/Day Time observing is the ability to view other celestial bodies such as Mercury, Venus and the Moon. During the day these objects are sometimes visible. With the aid of highly accurate computerized mounts and optics we are able to track down and view (at times) these celestial bodies in mid day. Venus tends to be the easiest planet to view as it is fairly bright even during the day. The ability to display other solar system objects adds a level of dynamic that few get to see. There is always something to see not matter what time of day and Focus intends to show you as much as possible.
Many of us are familiar with shooting stars. These small particles of rock and debris fall to Earth as brilliant balls of light, these are known as meteors. If one of these pieces is lucky enough to make it to the Earth's surface it is now known as a meteorite. Most meteorites are left over fragments from the solar systems formation over 4.5 billion years ago. These offer a snap shot of the history of our planet and solar system.
Meteorites are usually found locked in museums due to their rarity. At Focus we wanted to bring to museum with us and have done just that. Our one of a kind mobile meteorite display features over 50 samples of meteorites from all over the globe. Two custom built fully lit display cases feature a vast of rare and well known pieces. We also feature a hands on display where you can handle over 10 individual pieces of meteorites first hand.
For educational events and schools we also feature microscope samples to explore meteorites in depth.
Capturing images of the night sky is a complex goal, but Focus has mastered Live Imaging for outreach use.
Imagine viewing detailed images of distance objects live as they come off the telescope. Our system captures images of faint objects and composes them live on screen. Objects that would be nearly invisible to eye (even when viewing with a telescope) become bright and detailed. We stream these live images onto our 32" monitor for large groups to see. Our astronomers will give you detailed information on each object as you take your tour through the cosmos. Our Live Imaging set ups can also live stream onto larger monitors if your venue chooses to do so.
Imaging is also a great outlet for special need groups, large events and upper level education programs. At the end of each event our team takes the images back and process them. We will then email your group the captured images for you to share with your group, class room, etc...
We do require access to power when running our imaging systems. Contact us for more details.
Night Photography & Hikes
Capturing detailed images of the night with your camera has become easier than ever before. With a little practice and some guidance you can be on your way to capturing your own amazing nightscape images.
Our team has lead night hikes and workshops in accordance with local parks and venues to teach the basics of the night sky and photographing it. Learn the basic requirements, camera settings, equipment and framing to capture your own Milky Way and nightscape images. From shooting on a tripod to using a tracker we are here to aid in capturing that amazing shot. Our team has years of experience with working in low light situations and can assist you with your own adventure into this amazing world of photography.
Talks & Presentations
Astronomy brings a variety of different inserts as aspects, much of which our team has worked with. We are always looking share our knowledge with others and have done so through talks and presentations.
Each talk we give can cover whatever aspect of astronomy you or your group might be interested in. Be it equipment and advanced photographic programs to the basics of astronomy and how to get started. Our goal is to share our passion with you
We have provided talks and hands on presentations to schools from Kindergarten to College level programs. Talks have also been given on the basics of astronomy and how it affects us as people and what we can learn from it. Astronomy can be used as a powerful team building and teaching tool as it teaches us to look at the big picture.
Talks can be customized to whatever you want to know about. We are always looking into new topics to cover. In the past we have done talks on: Photography, Optics, Astronomy, Space Exploration, Astronomy & Nature, Astronomy and People and much more.