Discovering the Night Sky

Ref: C3671086

The night sky has fascinated the human race ever since they first looked up. This 8 week course will explore what you need to look up and enjoy a wide range of astronomical sights that can be seen from the UK. The course will begin with an overview of the skies above Lincolnshire. Further topics will include naked eye and binocular astronomy, telescopic observing, equipment required, how to use charts, night sky guides and software to know when to view special events. Understand how the earth’s tilt and orbit changes what can be viewed during a year, an overview of the planets and how best to view them. One session will be flexible to allow a night of practical observation depending upon the weather and in the event of every course night being clouded then an extra topic will be substituted.

Course aim

This course introduces the Night sky and what can be seen and what is needed to view the wonders of the night sky.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • Appreciate the many varied wonders of the night sky
  • Understand why we see some constellations and planets at different times of the year
  • Understand what equipment is best for observing different celestial sights
  • Know how to use charts, night sky guides and software to know when to view special events.
  • Explain why the Moon can be both a good object to view and a bad one for deep sky viewing

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
  • Where possible and skies permitting a practical night of observation may take place so ensure you have warm clothing as this will take place outside and possibly at a different location to the venue.

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Encouragement to attend or join a local or national astronomical society or club.

Download full course outline

Discovering the Night Sky Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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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