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Come scope out the stars with the South Cariboo Astronomy Club

The South Cariboo Astronomy Club is seeking to educate people on how to use a telescope
I really like just looking up at the stars, so my parents gave me a telescope one year. I don’t remember whether it was my birthday or Christmas, but they got me a small telescope, and over the years, I’ve just been kind of gradually getting something a little bit bigger and better,” said Coleopy. (Steve Coleopy photo)

Do you ever wonder what goes on among the stars?

The South Cariboo Astronomy Club wants to help people unravel the mystery by holding a telescope workshop on Oct. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre in 100 Mile House. Club founder Steve Coleopy hopes to center the session around telescopes, the different kinds people can utilize, and which are the most appropriate for different types of sky observations, such as planets, stars, or galaxies.

From 7 to 7:30 p.m., everyone can set up telescopes before the meeting starts, followed by a presentation on the different types of telescopes and mounts. Once that presentation is over, the last hour will be for people to show off their telescopes.

According to Coleopy, there are three different kinds of telescopes: refractors, reflectors, and compounds. The primary function among them is collecting light through an optical tube and depending on how much light is let in, the viewing experience is changed.

“For instance, when you’re buying a telescope, it’s a light gathering machine is really what it is. The more light you gather, the more definition you’ll get for what you’re looking at,” said Coleopy.

There will be assistance available for anyone who needs or prefers instruction on how to use theirs, followed by a question-and-answer query for people interested in purchasing their own telescope.

“The nice thing about it is you always learn something from somebody,” said Coleopy.”You’ll always learn from everybody, no matter what you do.”

The South Cariboo Astronomy Club Facebook page was created in 2019 by Coleopy because there was no club devoted to studying the night sky in the area. Membership in the club is free.

“I figured there’s got to be lots of people up here that enjoy the hobby as well,” said Coleopy. “I also wanted to meet some more people that were involved in the hobby, so that’s why I started up the club.”

Now that the group has garnered 130 members, he hopes to host more frequent workshops while amalgamating the use of telescopes and photography together.

Coleopy said he is still learning how to set the telescope up to do photography. “I can do visual observing through it with no problem, but I’d really like to be able to marry the two hobbies together outside practicing with the camera,” said Coleopy.

“I would like to start doing some observing sessions if we have a nice clear night. I want to be able to post on the Facebook page that I’m going to be out at a particular location for anybody who wants to join me,” said Coleopy. “We could also have the opportunity to set up a telescope at some community events.”

Anyone interested in learning more about what goes on in space can join the South Cariboo Astronomy Club on Facebook.

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“There’s quite a learning curve to get into the photography and to things, so if it’s clear out, I’ll take the telescope out and do some viewing,” said Coleopy. (Steve Coleopy photo)