Public Star Night 15 March 2019 – Bill Tschumy – Introduction to the Night Sky

Our speaker for this evening will be our own volunteer and co-author of SkySafari, Bill Tschumy.

Amateur astronomy is in many ways an intellectual pursuit.  What may look like a faint smudge in the telescope only comes alive when you truly grasp what it is you are looking at.

Bill’s talk will introduce you to the wonders of the night sky.  He will help you understand the size, distance, location and physical properties of those objects you can see through the telescope.  He will also cover how to get started in amateur astronomy: the basic equipment needed and some of the important resources.

Figure 1 – Globular cluster M13 imaged by M. J. Post

Bill has been active in amateur astronomy for over 40 years and is the current president of the Longmont Astronomical Society.  He loves to share his knowledge of the night sky with others, and public star parties are a favorite of his.

Although his formal training is in zoology, Bill currently makes his living as a software engineer.  In 2009 he got the chance to combine his programming skills with his love of astronomy and co-authored SkySafari, one of the most popular astronomy apps for mobile devices and Macintosh.  He currently works for Simulation Curriculum, a small North American based software company that develops astronomy and geology software and other educational products.

Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through our large telescope at various celestial objects. Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month, except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance.

If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at

Posted in LTO News