What is the course about?
Things in the current night sky
Recent things that have changed astronomy and space science.
Things that will change it even more, soon.
What will we cover?
The plan has to be flexible to accommodate anything significant and interesting that happens before the course starts. These are some of the likely aims:
* to review the current robot exploration of Mars and Jupiter
* to examine the prospects of human-crewed spaceflight
* to anticipate the Bepi-Colombo mission (en route to Mercury)
* to assess progress of the James Webb Space Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope
*to discuss night sky news
* to explore the difference 8 and 10-metre class telescopes have made.
* to look at the achievements and prospects of the Hubble Space Telescope
* to explore, briefly, the explosion in amateur astronomy, particularly the use of CCD cameras.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Explain some recent astronomical developments to someone so unfortunate as to have missed the course.
Understand some new discoveries and/or techniques.
Anticipate the value of new instruments/space-missions.
Adopt a more critical and selective view of news items.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The level is suitable for those new to studying astronomy , but a keen interest in astronomy and space research will be useful.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Mainly by illustrated presentations. Questions and contributions from students will be welcome. Discussion will be encouraged.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HS200 Science guest lecture: Professor Ian Crawford on Astrobiology
HS005 Astronomy a gentle introduction
HS022 Astronomy for fun
HS001 Astronomy at the UCL observatory
HS135 Astronomy in focus: Our connections to the Cosmos
HS132 Science guest lecture: Professor Raman Prinja, the stellar story, from dusty birth to explosive death
HS132 Further cosmology.