The Governor’s Institute on Astronomy
July 15 – July 21, 2018
Lyndon State College

Passionate about the stars, mathematics or physics?  The science of the cosmos? Ready for some late night exploration of the stars using some of Vermont’s most powerful telescopic equipment?


Astronomy Institute students will learn about our fascinating universe, and all about how astronomers conduct research.  Students will not only explore the universe using the observatory facilities at the Northern Skies Observatory in Peacham, VT, but interact with professional astronomers, and learn about their current research. 

Students will explore the following:

  • Learn the constellations, how things move in the night sky, & the motions of the planets
  • Telescopes, optics, and how to use them
  • Visual observing as well as digital methods (both for fun and amateur research)
  • Advanced CCD camera systems
  • Remote and robotic telescope operation
  • Solar science safe solar observing and photography (white light and Hydrogen alpha)
  • Deep sky astrophotography, narrow band research imaging, and video imaging techniques
  • Photometry (precise measurement of brightness of stars, asteroid periods, & supernovae in specific wavelengths)
  • Spectroscopy (analysis of the “fingerprints” of elements in stars & planets)
  • Astrometry (accurate measurement of position — useful for orbits of moving objects)
  • Projects that can be continued after GIV for possible school credit (or publication!)

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Astronomy Institute students will gain experience that can be helpful in college-level science research, and will be well positioned to work on a research team at a major university.  We will have fun with observing the sky from naked eye to high-tech telescopes, but the emphasis throughout will be on how to make and reduce astronomical observations and data for research, collaboration with other astronomers, and the conduct of research-quality science.  This Institute will involve nighttime observing and a few late nights under the stars.

Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, VT, the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation, and the Northern Skies Observatory in Peacham, VT are valued partners of the GIV Astronomy Institute.

Questions? Email us at or give us a call at 802-865-4448.