Introduction to Astronomy - Online (Supported by the Royal Astronomical Society)

Ref: C3843598

In these sessions, we will explore the past, present and future of astronomy, talking about the objects in the night sky, our exploration of the heavens, and the events that will impact on our understanding of the Universe. We will also discuss the best type of equipment that will enable students to learn about science and to observe the night sky for themselves.

Additional information about this course

Supported by the Royal Astronomical Society

Course aim

Learners will find out about the solar system, constellations, planets and much, much more in a series of eight video talks produced by the Royal Astronomical Society working in Partnership with the Worker’s Educational Association

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • The course is suitable for both beginners and experienced astronomers aged 19+.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise ten of the major constellations in the Autumn Sky by direct observation (weather permitting)
  • Know the important characteristics of choosing the right telescope for you - objective diameter, magnification, stability, lens or mirror designs
  • Find a good, safe observing location away from bright lights
  • How to observe the major planets - Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon
  • Learn about current developments in space exploration - Space X, Osiris Rex @ Bennu, Curiosity Rover on Mars, Juno around Jupiter, New Horizons and Pluto/Ultima Thule.

How will I be taught?

  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Introduction to Astronomy - Online (Supported by the Royal Astronomical Society)


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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