Astronomy: How Big? How Far? How Old?

Ref: C2347071

Open any astronomy book or website and you will see figures quoted for the sizes, ages and distances of planets, stars and galaxies. What methods are used to determine these values? How much confidence can we have in these estimates? We will discuss some of the methods used and consider some of the pioneers who have made valuable contributions.

Course aim

To discuss some iof the methods that enable us to estimate the age, distances and sizes of astronomical bodies.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • Explain a method that can be used for estimating the distance and size to a planet.
  • Explain ONE method of estimating the distance to a star.
  • Explain ONE methods of estimating the distance to a galaxy.
  • State the currently accepted value for the age of the Universe.
  • Carry out research into topic(s) suggested by tutor or by yourself. If you feel confident in doing so, inform others in class of findings in writing (for publication on Canvas) or verbally. (NB: Presentation of your research is NOT compulsory)

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No prior knowledge is assumed. Please bring a notebook and pen. You may wish to carry out independent research between classes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Astronomy: How Big? How Far? How Old?

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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