Our Universe

Ref: C2226726

What objects make up our solar system and can we see them? There will be help to find your way around our night sky. What are these strange objects in our universe e.g. neutron stars, pulsars and black holes? How did our universe start and how will it end? How big and how old is our universe? Einstein's spacetime and gravity...and is there a Multiverse?

Course aim

We will have the opportunity to consider some of the objects to be found in our star system, our Milky Way galaxy and the universe beyond.

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:

  • Locate some of the major constellations.
  • Describe some of the features of the nearest planets and some other objects in our Solar System.
  • Describe the shape of the Milky Way and our Sun's position within it.
  • Suggest how stars may have evolved and are likely to evolve, including neutron stars and black holes.
  • Outline how astronomical distances are measured.

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
  • Students will be encouraged to observe the night sky, locate constellations and planets. A dedicated internet 'Padlet', unique to this course, will be available. You will be able to use this to ask the tutor questions.

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
  • Students will be encouraged to give feedback on their individual observations.

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.)
  • We shall be using software, images, videos available on the internet. Access to these would be useful but not essential.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • There are many popular astronomical books easily available. Perhaps watch 'The Sky at Night' on BBC4. Have a look at my page: http://www.astronomy-glenn.blogspot.com The Book Box will be available during the sessions.

What can I do next?

  • A comprehensive 'What Next' suggestions will be available.

Download full course information sheet

Our Universe

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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