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Explore the Universe


Explore the Universe—a beginner’s observing program

Explore the Universe Logo

Explore the Universe is the first RASC observing program aimed at the novice astronomer. Those who complete the program may apply for a certificate and pin—this is open to all, RASC members and non-members alike. First offered in 2002, this program is designed to:

  • Stimulate an interest in observational astronomy.
  • Introduce good observing practices and techniques.
  • Provide an introduction to all aspects of visual astronomy including stars and constellations, lunar, planetary, deep sky, double stars and several optional activities, including variable stars.
  • Encourage active observing programs in Local Centres like ours.

One of the special features of this program is that it can be completed entirely using binoculars and the unaided eye. A choice of objects is provided so that you can start the program at any time of the year and easily complete the requirements in three to six months time. Handy recording and application forms are available from a link at the bottom of this page.

Here is a summary of the Explore the Universe program requirements:

Observing Objective Required Available
Constellations and Bright Stars 12 24
The Moon 16 32
Solar System 5 10
Deep Sky Objects 12 24
Double Stars 10 20
Total 55 110

RASC Explore the Universe Certificate

Once you have completed your Explore the Universe observing program you can apply for your certificate and pin either through the RASC Society Office or through your local RASC Centre, if it is one of the Local Certification Centres or the RASC Observing Committee Chair at . The Sunshine Coast Centre is one of the authorised Local Certification Centres.

Want to get started? Download the Explore the Universe program requirements (English) from the RASC site and start your observing program today!

NOTE: In March 2021 we started an Explore the Universe Challenge to help members work their way through the program. Check out the introduction:

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