The Beginners SIG focuses on getting you started in astronomy… from purchasing and getting the most out of your telescope to learning the night skies.

Coordinator’s Welcome

The Beginners Special Interest Group usually gets together on the second or third Saturday of each month to discuss what we’ve been doing, to share ideas, show off our new ”toys” and to listen to a presentation on a topic of interest to Beginning Amateurs. Previous topics have been astronomical terms, constellations, telescope basics, accessories and Messier Objects. Everyone is welcome, no matter what level you consider yourself – beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc. You can regularly check the B-SIG forum in the MAS discussion forums to keep informed of what’s going on with the group.

If you’re new to astronomy, or even just new to MAS, this is a good place to start. You don’t need a telescope or any equipment, just an interest in learning more. Send an e-mail or post in the forum  if you have any questions.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

[See ”Events Calendar” at www.mnastro.org/events]

Beginners SIG meetings are held the second or third Saturday of each month, usually starting at 10:00 a.m.  Normally we meet at  Library around the Twin Cities but we do have several field trips annually that will meet at one of the MAS observing sites on a regularly scheduled MAS star party night. Any changes to the scheduled location will be posted in the Beginner’s Discussion area.  The upcoming meetings is posted near the top of the B-SIG forums.

Upcoming B-SIG Meetings

B-SIG – Dec 2020 Meeting @ Online via Google Meet
Dec 12 @ 1:00 pm
B-SIG - Dec 2020 Meeting @ Online via Google Meet

Sat Dec 12, 2020 BSIG Presentation – 1:00 pm via Google Meet

Speaker: Bob Kerr

Topic: The ABC’s of Stars

The ABCs of Stars (Remember, it’s called star-gazing)

Under clear, dark skies it’s possible to see over 3,000 stars with just your eyes. Use a modest telescope or even binoculars, and this number quickly jumps to well over a 100,000 – just a fraction of our galaxy’s billions of stars.

Everywhere we look the universe seems to be busy with stars: making stars or making stuff out of stars (like planets and us). But bright stars have a confusing assortment of names, letters, and numbers, and their nightly patterns can be hard to follow.

Think about it: the smallest star is just a little larger than Jupiter, but there’s a star larger than the orbit of Saturn. The farthest star we can see is five billion light years away. The age of the oldest star known is estimated to be over 13 billion years (the sun is only 4.6 billion). Many stars change in brightness, and about half the stars in the sky are orbited by companion stars.

So what’s going on with all these stars? Join us, and let’s get some of this star-stuff figured out.


If you are interested in giving a presentation please contact one of the contacts at the address at the bottom of the page, or use the B-SIG discussion forum.

Useful Resources on the Internet

The following Beginner SIG forum discussion topic lists a number of useful Internet sites. The list of links complied by Steve Emert can be found HERE

Discussion Forum Instructions

The Beginner’s SIG uses a web-based discussion forum to facilitate communication among its members.  A link to the B-SIG Forum is found  under the ”Special Interest Groups” section. Anyone can read messages, but you must be a registered member of the forum to post.

Suresh Sreenivasan

Contact Information:

For more information regarding this Special Interest Group, please contact:

Suresh Sreenivasan
email: sureshks1@msn.com