Free Zoom Presentations for your Club Meeting

Hi, I’m Tom Field, the author of the RSpec real-time spectroscopy software, and a contributing editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine.

Over the past six years, I have given well-received, remote presentations to more than 200 clubs, not only in the US but also in Canada, Australia, South Africa, the UK, India, and other countries. I have also been an in-person speaker at many conferences, including NEAF, the Advanced Imaging Conference, the Winter Star Party, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, and OPT’s SCAE.

If your club is looking for a remote meeting speaker, I would be happy to give a Zoom presentation about spectroscopy to your group if you expect more than 15 attendees.

My presentations are FREE, and are not sales demonstrations. They briefly cover the history and science of spectroscopy, and show exciting sample’s of spectra from small telescopes and DSLRs.  I discuss how to get started in the field, and end the meeting with a Q&A session.

Many amateur astronomers mistakenly think that spectroscopy requires expensive equipment, a mountaintop observatory, and advanced degrees in astrophysics.

That was true many years ago, but today’s tools make it surprisingly easy (and affordable) to capture beautiful spectra, and then do some exciting science with those images.

Spectroscopy is used in the majority of astronomical research today. In my Zoom presentation, your club members will gain a better understanding of spectroscopy, and they’ll gain the confidence to expand their activities into that field.

Your club members who are already capturing astronomical images will learn how they can use their current setup for spectroscopy simply by adding our inexpensive 1.25″  Star Analyser filter. Spectra can even be captured with a standalone DSLR.  And even the non-imagers in your club will enjoy my presentation because it will deepen their understanding of the scientific topics that fascinate us all.

To see examples of the exciting science that amateurs can do using just a small telescope, see

Contact us for details:

My remote sessions are very well received, as shown by these testimonials:

Web Presentations? Are they good enough for your club?

See these testimonials on the CloudyNights forum:

Also see these more recent comments:

Below is an email we received from a large club in Maryland.


Here’s an email from a Chicago club:

Chicago Club email

Below is an email from a board member at the Riverside Astronomical Society (link). This is the highly respected club in Los Angeles that organized RTMC and PATS.

“I had been very leery of how your remote presentation was going to go. I have real high standards for the presentation for our meetings. That quality is one of the things that make the club so good. At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. I still prefer live speakers (not that you were not live, but, well, you know), but not by as much as I thought. The technology was much better than I anticipated. I had a sense you were there, even only as your little [live video] picture in the corner. Everything seemed normal enough.” – Alex McConahay


Here’s an email we just received from the president of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston (link):


Thanks very much for doing your remote presentation to Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston tonight! I got many positive comments after the meeting – members were really engaged and attentive during your presentation. To calibrate these positive comments, we get very high quality professional speakers for many meetings. With your high energy level and humorous banter from time to time, no one was in danger going to sleep during your talk.

You have raised a lot of interest in our club having more remote presentations like yours in the future. People were very positive about the whole web-talk experience, besides your specific talk. Before the meeting, we were a bit worried whether an over-the-web presentation could entertain our audience of about 50 people. But, it really worked out well. This potentially opens up a new source of speakers for us (although it’s clear that another speaker would have to be as skillful and experienced as you were to make this work well in the future).” – Bernie Kosicki

Here’s a text message that the president of a club in Michigan sent after a presentation to their monthly club meeting:


And finally, demonstrating that meetings can be done across oceans: From South Africa, here’s the Chairman of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (link), Pretoria Centre:

“Good day, Tom,

I want to thank you for a wonderful experience with the on-line presentation. It exceeded my wildest expectations, and everyone was very impressed with the quality of both the presentation as well as the flow of data.

It was truly as if you were right there with us. The video was smooth and audio was very good. No lags or dips that we could make out.

Now I can relax, and go to to sleep with a job well done!” – Johan Smit


Other outreach activities

Tom is listed as a lecturer on the Astronomy Outreach Network: link.

Dennis Di Cicco of Sky & Telescope Magazine did a great ten-minute video interview of Tom at the NEAF conference. Click on the image below to watch:

Tom’s 4-page article on spectroscopy appeared in the August 2011 issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine: