Are you new to Astronomy as a hobby or subject? Looking for like-minded people to show you the ropes? Here are some useful tips:
If you're in secondary school, JC or Poly, try to check if your school has an Astronomy club - that's the easiest way to start with the least intimidating atmosphere. You can also check out Astronomy.sg's list of affiliated school clubs. In school, everyone is your peer and you won't be surrounded by people who've had 20+ years of experience who will already have their own social circle within the Astronomy community. Learn as much as you can, meet people from other schools' Astronomy clubs, and have fun!
If you're not yet in secondary school, or your school doesn't have an Astronomy club, you can join one of the many public Astronomy clubs and stargazing sessions! Check out the full list of community astronomy clubs here. The volunteers at all these clubs/societies are incredibly friendly and always willing to share tips about how to view the night sky, teach you how to use a telescope, and generally introduce you to the world of Observational Astronomy:
These public clubs and societies are also good for adults just starting out in Astronomy, or parents who wish to bring their kids to check out the night sky (or for their Young Astronomer badges). You will get hands-on telescope time and learn more about the Astronomy community in Singapore.
Once you are comfortable with the basics of navigating the night sky and handling a telescope, there are many more avenues you can explore:
- Do you want to know the Science in Astronomy? Join an Inter-school competition or an Olympiad for a crash course!
- Want to learn how satellites and spacecraft are built? Apply for an internship with NTU's Satellite Research Centre, or join the Singapore Space Challenge.
- Want to understand how the surfaces of planets (including our own) are studied by cameras in orbit? Do an internship at the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing in NUS.
- Interested in probing the origin of planets in the Solar System? Apply to the Lunar and Planetary Institute internship program in Houston, Texas.