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When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Radmila Topalovic
  • Course Code K24MIKD02A
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

In this astronomy course for beginners you will learn how to find your way around the night sky using the constellations. You’ll learn how to use a stargazing app to track the Moon and find stars, planets and even a galaxy.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the main aspects of the celestial sphere and explain how we map and track the night sky
  • Demonstrate use of a stargazing app on your mobile device or programme on your laptop such as Stellarium
  • Plan your own stargazing session and record your observations
  • Recall the basics of how binoculars and telescopes work
  • Explain the lunar phase cycle and track the Moon as it orbits the Earth
  • Describe the main features and locations of the 8 planets of the Solar System, some of the moons and other objects such as asteroids, dwarf planets and comets
  • Compare and contrast extrasolar planets with our solar system and state and explain conditions required for life
  • Define the stellar classification system and state the relationship between a star’s colour and its temperature
  • Describe the basic structure of the Milky Way as seen from Earth and from space and compare it with other galaxies
  • Describe the overall structure of the Universe.

Class format and activities

Interactive lecture - all information will be made available for download. Be prepared to contribute to class discussion. There will be short online quizzes during the course that can be completed on your mobile phone. You will be encouraged to record your own observations of the night sky either by drawing or taking photos on your phone.

Entry requirements

No previous knowledge is required. However, an enthusiasm for learning and an open and critical mind will enhance your enjoyment and benefit from this course. A good level of English is required to take part in discussion.

What you need to know before you enrol

You do not need to prepare anything in advance however you will be expected to try the practical activities such as using a stargazing app and looking for objects in the night sky.

What you need

There are no other costs but you will require a notepad and pen if you wish to take notes. Also you may wish to use a mobile device or laptop to install a stargazing app.

What you can do next

Take a look at our Science and Maths courses on the website for 2024-25.