Astronomy across the Spectrum

Ref: C2337516

We will study how investigating the universe across all regions of the electromagnetic spectrum has given us a far more in-depth understanding of planets, stars and galaxies than just relying on visible light'

Additional information about this course

How investigating the universe across the electromagnetic spectrum has given us a more in-depth understanding of planets, stars and galaxies than just relying on visible light.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the results that astronomers have obtained by studying the full range of electromagnetic radiation from celestial objects. What sort of information does this give us in addition to that gleaned from visible light?

Who is the course for?

Course is for anyone who has an interest in and is enthusiastic about astronomy. No prior knowledge assumed - just a fascination with the universe!

What topics will this course cover

We will look at what the light from stars, planets and galaxies can tell us about their composition and origin. The history of spectroscopy will be discussed (this relates to culture and education). The course provides the opportunity to discuss space and astronomy stories in the news and the constellations and planets on view with like-minded people (health and wellbeing)

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

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

1. Explain the terms absorption spectrum and emission spectrum 2. State one major finding from examining the sky in the following regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: (a) infrared (b) radio (c) gamma ray (d) microwave 3. Recognise at least 4 new (to the learner) objects in the Spring/Summer Night Sky 4. Bring an object or article or photograph to class that will be of interest to others

How will I know I'm making progress?

Participation ion group activities Observing tick list Q & A Discussion Some written questions

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Please bring a notebook and a pen. No additional expenses foreseen at present.

Reading and information sources

No preparation essential.

What could the course lead to?

Further WEA course in astronomy.

Download full course outline

Astronomy across the Spectrum Course Outline

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This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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