Astronomy: a gentle introduction
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
What is the course about?
Astronomy for those, who find it interesting and want to know more.
Suggestions for beginners, who want to go a bit farther
With some mind-boggling thrown in for good measure
Roger O' Brien has taught astronomy for the Workers’ Educational Association, the OU, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The night sky
- The solar system
- Stars, nebulae, galaxies…
- Telescopes, planispheres, computer software…
- Exoplanets, questions, answers, things to do
Please note the course programme is flexible and may include unexpected news items.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Recognise constellations
- Make a scale model of the solar system
- Pick out planets in the night sky
- Decide whether to purchase equipment e.g. binoculars, telescope.
- Broadly outline the scale of the universe and its contents
- Identify books to buy, societies to join and possible other courses to take.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is open to all. No prior knowledge of the subject is required. However, you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course and to participate fully in discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught in a number of different ways including presentations with visual examples, discussions and group work.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might want to have a notepad and paper handy. There will be no additional costs for the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HS022 Astronomy for fun
HS213 Astronomy: current developments and suggestions for clear nights
HS135 Astronomy in focus: Our connections to the Cosmos
HS132 Science guest lecture: Professor Raman Prinja: Our stellar story, from dusty birth to explosive death.
Roger has been an amateur astronomer for more than six decades. Professional involvement in astronomy waited until 1995, when he tried teaching. A serendipitous encounter at AstroFest led to enrolment at the University of Hertfordshire, which, in turn, led to graduation with a BSc in Astronomy (with computing) in 1995. Staff at UoH sponsored him as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS) in 1995. Tutoring appointments have included Workers’ Educational Association, Open University, City Lit and the Royal Observatory Greenwich so he teaches a very wide range from very basic (Astronomy a Gentle Introduction at City Lit) to second level undergraduate work for the OU. Roger finds the variety stimulating and still enjoys doing some actual observing. For instance, he is a volunteer Demonstrator at the Hampstead Observatory. On the more theoretical side, he is keen to talk about Cosmology (at the City Lit and for the OU).
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.