The evening sky over the BREC Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo by Mark Bienvenu.

What to do this weekend: Amateur astronomy course at Highland Road Park Observatory

No state-of-the-art radio telescope in the New Mexico desert required. This Saturday, January 9, bring your coziest coats and sharpest binoculars to the second of the amateur astronomy courses hosted by the Highland Road Park Observatory. That’s right—binoculars.

As many of us discovered on the day of Saturn and Jupiter’s conjunction last month, the night sky holds plenty of wonders observable with the (slightly aided) naked eye, and 2021 will be no different. In this class designed to instruct the average stargazer in the use of personal telescopes or binoculars, staff at the observatory will walk you through the basics while providing an overview of all major sky events set to take place this year, whether it’s counting constellations in the darkness of January 13’s New Moon or spotting Mercury at its Greatest Eastern Elongation on January 24.

Register by Wednesday, January 6. $15 per in-parish registrant; $18 per out-of-parish registrant. For more information, visit