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 – Feb 2020 Meeting @ Golden Valley Library
Feb 29 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
B-SIG - Feb 2020 Meeting @ Golden Valley Library

Sat 2/29 BSIG Presentation – 1:30pm Golden Valley Library

Speaker: Steve Emert

Topic: Selecting and using a telescope, mount and accessories

In the February BSIG meeting, we are getting back to basics. Did you get a telescope for Christmas, or are you still considering your first (or second) telescope? What about the necessary accessories to make it useful? This month we’ll discuss the different types of scopes and mounts available, what you should consider and what you should stay away from.

In addition to discussing the telescopes themselves, we’ll talk about accessories – finder scopes and zero power finders, the pros and cons of various red flashlights, dew mitigation, planispheres and star charts and how to use them, how to keep comfortable and warm while observing, and some ideas how to get (and stay) organized.

B-SIG – March 2020 Meeting @ Edina Library
Mar 14 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
B-SIG - March 2020 Meeting @ Edina Library

Sat 3/14 BSIG Presentation – 1:30pm Edina Library

Speaker: Suresh Sreenivasan

Topic: Deep Sky Objects

B-SIG – April Star Party @ Eagle Lake Observatory
Apr 11 @ 6:00 pm
B-SIG - April Star Party @ Eagle Lake Observatory

Weather permitting


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