Mark Johnston aka azastroguy

Mark Johnston aka azastroguy

Astronomy Educator

I grew up in Toronto and moved to Scottsdale Arizona in 1990. That’s the “AZ” in azastroguy.

When I was 11 years old I got a 60mm Tasco refractor for Christmas. I didn’t know what I was doing, but stood in the snow in the backyard looking at stars. A particularly bright one caught my eye, and I focused my low power eyepiece on it. It was a yellow football shape. I knew it couldn’t be a star, but what was it? I put in the only other eyepiece I had, a ‘high power’ one, and was stunned to see the planet Saturn revealed in all its ringed glory. I had ‘discovered’ Saturn! I was hooked.

For many decades I enjoyed astronomy as a personal pursuit, getting gradually better and better equipment. Eventually I discovered the joy of sharing the wonders of the universe with others and began doing outreach and education. In the late 1990’s I began regularly showing the night sky at Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale, and became the parks official astronomer. I was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the Mayor of Scottsdale in 2007. In 2015 I was certified to give presentations on astronomy and space science on cruise ships, and have enjoyed many such trips with my wife around the world.

In 2018 I became a NASA Solar System Ambassador and in 2020 I was awarded Master Level outreach award by the Astronomical League. In 2020 I opened the @azastroguy Instagram account, and followed that in 2021 with a similar Facebook account.

Dark Skies Astronomy Viewing at the Brisa Lawn

We are excited that @azastroguy will be hosting a Dark Nights Astronomy viewing night at IBIS! Using Electronically Assisted Astronomy, he will attach a digital camera to his telescope and project the live image onto a PC screen or monitor for this private viewing. Not only that, the Dove Valley resort in Marana, AZ is on […]

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