Our Amazing Galaxy and the Universe Beyond

Ref: C3741415

The visual impression of the night sky and accompanying maps can give a quite simpilified view of the main bright stars forming the constellation. However closer inspection shows many other types of objects, usually called deep sky, contain a host of double stars, star clusters and gas clouds from which stars are being made. This course aims to locate the huge variety of objects and how these are observed by astronomers in our quest for knowledge.

Course aim

To tour the Milky Way Galaxy to study variety of stars, deep sky objects,newly-discovered exo-planets and to find out if nebulae are in some cases other star systems beyond our own .

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • All that is needed is a strong interest in understanding the sky and enthusiasm for the subject

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

  • Locate at least five major constellation
  • Select a star cluster and describe in detail for findings from a personal study programme
  • To investigate the history of nebulae found by great observers of the past and modern understanding of the universe

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
  • In the first week we can discuss if It may be possible some time during the course to arrange a visit to a nearby observatory to gain practical knowledge of observing

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
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your 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.)
  • Purchase of a Philips planisphere for 51deg north to reflect our view of the sky

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Not essential but 'Astronomy' by Ian Ridpath (DK Eyewithness series)with a course pre-read

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Practical option of joining a local astronomical society and gaining help on observing techniques Progression issued at the end of the course will help extend knowledge boundaries further

Download full Course information sheet

Our Amazing Galaxy and the Universe Beyond

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This course has been cancelled.


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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