Resources for Holding Virtual Events

Resources for Holding Virtual Events

  • Daytime Event
  • Nighttime Event
  • Inside Venue
  • Outside Venue
  • Target Audience
  • Adult
If your club is hosting virtual events, there are a few things to consider. There are many similarities, some important differences, and even some advantages! Check out the virtual events being hosted by NSN clubs this month.

If you are holding events in-person, there is also a flyer to post about safe outreach practices below! 

If you are holding a virtual event, the following resources should get you started. 

Click on this simple handout to learn more:
1) Find a team
2) Capture the event
3) Share it with the world (or a small group). 

For Virtual Stargazing Events:
  1. In addition to the considerations above, if it’s a stargazing event, you’ll need a way to share your view through your scope. This may involve connecting a CCD or other eyepiece camera to a computer or phone. Your telescope’s user manual as well as YouTube videos can help you with this. Many astronomers like to use SharpCap for these views, and there are a few other software options for "live imaging" from your eyepiece. Ask fellow amateurs what they have used, check out some trials downloads, and see what works best for you. 
  2. No dedicated cameras? You can use your smartphone or tablet as a camera for your eyepiece for sharing views of bright objects! A "Smartphone adapter" can be used to safely and securely mount your phone to your telescope's eyepiece! Adapters with different designs are available from Celestron, Orion, and other manufacturers. Use your phone in conjunction with apps like Camo, EpocCam, and Iriun Webcam, among others, that allow you to wirelessly connect to your smartphone's camera remotely from other devices. That way you can stream your phone's views using Zoom, OBS, and other streaming studio software.
  3. Another option is to use planetarium or software such as Stellarium, Distant Suns, or Starry Night  (and many more!)to mimic a night sky. You can also use space visualization software to take up-close 3D tours of distant objects, like NASA’s Eyes, AMNH’s Open Space,  They also give you an excellent backup in case of clouds. 
  4. If you have limited cell signal or very slow WiFi, use still pictures of the sky instead of video or moving images to save on bandwidth.

Now that you have the basics, make your virtual events more engaging with these tips:
Much thanks to all of our partners at NASA for creating such helpful resources! Feel free to reach out with questions or suggestions:

Take a look at some great virtual events hosted by our partners.

Live Stargazing:
Nationwide Star Party with Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory
Live Deep Sky Tours with the McDonald Observatory

Planetarium Show/Virtual Planetarium:
The Sky Tonight with Rochester Museum and Science Center

Meetings. Presentations, and Panels:
Eastbay Astronomical Society, Chabot's Role in the Apollo 13 Rescue
Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, May Club Meeting & Presentation
Houston Astronomical Society, Astronomy Travels  - Novice Members, club meeting
All Space Considered, with folks from the Griffith Observatory

Workshop, Light Pollution and Health with the Astronomy Club of Asheville
Virtual Moon Exploration Activity combines art and science with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association

Demos/Activities within presentations:
Telescope Tips, Memphis Astronomical Society
Where Do Stars Go In the Day?

In-Person Events Flyer: Safety Precautions
If you are offering in-person events, you can still help protect yourself and others and reduce the risk of disease spread. Use this customizable Event Flyer to let visitors know what to expect. Fill in the top bullets with specific needs via Adobe Reader or write these in. 

This resource is part of the Club Management series.

Last updated Aug 11, 2020


Activity Key

Daytime Event
Daytime Event
Nighttime Event
Nighttime Event
Inside Venue
Inside Venue
Outside Venue
Outside Venue
Target Audience