Sixty years of the Space Age: Satellites and space probes

Ref: C2337914

The world of astronomy and space science has undergone rapid change since the launch of the first artificial satellite in 1957. As well as manned exploration of the Moon, robotic probes to planets and comets and orbiting observatories have made some very significant discoveries about our universe, its history and its composition. We will discuss some of the more important findings and also look forward to the future, including the launch of the James Webb Space telescope. Additionally, we will consider the stars and planets on view in the autumn sky and keep abreast of astronomy and space stories in the news.

Course aim

Sixty years of the Space Age: October marks the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik and we will look at some of the immense contributions that satellites and space probes made to our understanding of astronomy

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Open to anyone with an enthusiasm for astronomy

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

  • 1. Recognise six constellations in the night sky (from a list agreed with the tutor)
  • 2. State one important finding from each decade of the Space Age.
  • 3. State the aims of the James Webb Space telescope
  • 4. Bring to class an article, book, article or image of interest to the rest of the class.

How will I be taught?

  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Variety of teaching methods used.

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring a notebook and pen. Warm clothing will be required on clear nights as we may go outside and observe.

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

Download full course outline

Sixty years of the Space Age: Satellites and space probes Course Outline

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  • 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 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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