Astronomy: The Sky at Night

Ref: C3127088

This practical introduction to stargazing explores the movements of the stars and planets in the night sky. It will cover the familiar constellations, the Zodiac, the Milky Way and the concept of magnitude which governs what we can see with the naked eye. The use of binoculars and of a small telescope will also feature and an observational evening is planned during the course.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the naked eye observation of the night sky including the movements of the stars throughout the year and the key constellations. This will be supported on how to make good use of a small telescope or binoculars.

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 the key winter constellations of the northern hemisphere night sky;
  • Understand the movements of the Moon and its phases and also the movements of the stars in the night sky through the year;
  • Appreciate how naked eye observation can be supported by the use of both binoculars and small telescopes;
  • understand the key features of small telescopes and gain some knowledge of the best models to purchase.

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
  • The tutor will organise an optional observational evening during the winter months.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Information about both national astronomy groups for amateurs such as the British Astronomical Association (BAA) and local societies such as the Herefordshire Astronomical Society (HAS) will be provided on the day.

Download full course information sheet

Astronomy: The Sky at Night


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

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