Stars and Planets in the Winter Sky

Ref: C2339071

Using the stars and planets visible in the winter sky, we will discuss the latest findings about the nature of these objects. Some of the topics for consideration will include current theories about the origin and evolution of the universe and the lives of stars. Current news stories in astronomy and space science will feature each week as well as mini biographies of some famous astronomers.

Course aim

A clear winter's night provides the opportunity to view some of the most interesting objects in the sky. Learn how to recognise constellations and explore the nature of stars and planets.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Recognise objects in the night sky from a list supplied by the tutor
  • Briefly describe one current theory concerning the origin of the universe.
  • Produce a short article on the work of a famous astronomer
  • Briefly explain the following terms as applied to stars: main-sequence star, red giant, red dwarf, brown dwarf, white dwarf
  • Bring to class an object, photo, drawing, book, article etc that will be of interest to other class members.

How will I be taught?

  • 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
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Please bring along a pen and notepad. On clear evenings, warm clothing will be required as we will 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
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Join a local astronomical society.

Download full course outline

Stars and Planets in the Winter Sky Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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