This “How to Be a Night Sky Observer” video series was produced and directed by Makayla Wheeler, a local high school student, to inform and inspire people of all ages that their own backyard is the perfect place to launch an interest in astronomy. She wants viewers to know that you don’t need fancy telescopes, trackers and cameras to enjoy viewing celestial objects. A pair of binoculars, clear/dark conditions and sky map are all you need to get started.
Makayla’s interest in astronomy began in elementary school after a visit to the local observatory in Cocoa. Members of the BAS saw her inquisitive nature regarding the stars, planets, moon and deep space objects, which led to a growing mentoring opportunity that has spanned the past 7 years. As a result, she has widened her astronomy interest to include astroimaging with a particular interest in photographing star clusters, comets, nebulae and galaxies, as well as wide-field shots of the Milky Way. In addition, as a service to the astronomy community, Makayla has volunteered 100 hours at the local observatory, sharing her accumulated knowledge of the night sky and inspiring kids of all ages.