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Introduction to Astronomy: Individual Lectures
June 5, 2021 @ 11:00 am - July 3, 2021 @ 11:00 am£4.00
A short course in astronomy by Dr. Adrian Jannetta covering basic concepts, practical experience, and the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. This listing is for individual lectures, which cost £4 each The full course of five lectures costs £15 and can be booked on a separate Eventbrite listing available here.
This course is a diverse mix of practical and theoretical topics. Current night sky events such as eclipses, aurora and meteor showers will be discussed as well as current knowledge of the stars, planets and solar system exploration.
5th June: Week 1 – “Eclipses”
Weather permitting there will be a partial solar eclipse visible from the UK on June 10th. In this session you’ll see some ways to observe that eclipse for yourself. And we’ll also take a look at what eclipses and other celestial alignments have taught us about the universe so far.
12th June: Week 2 – “Spaceweather”
In this session we’ll cover phenomena occurring at the boundary where our atmosphere meets interplanetary space. We’ll look at the Sun, the solar cycle and the solar wind and how it creates the aurora. June also also marks the start of noctilucent cloud season for northern latitudes so we’ll see how to observe and photograph them. And finally – why do we get meteor showers? And when and why do they occur?
19th June: Week 3 – “The Solar System”
Everything you need to know about the planets, moons, asteroids, comets and other objects orbiting the Sun. Know your gas giants from your ice giants! Revisit the Pluto is/isn’t a planet debate. See how Jupiter and Saturn shaped the history of the solar system. And find out how to identify and observe planets in the night sky.
26th June: Week 4 – “Navigating the night sky”
We live on a spinning, tilted planet revolving around the Sun. Making sense of those motions will help you navigate the night sky! Find out why Polaris is the North Star and why it wasn’t always the case. Why is Orion visible at certain times of the year and not others? We’ll also look at the practical skills of star-hopping to find faint galaxies and star clusters.
3rd July: Week 5 – “The Milky Way”
The Milky Way is best seen during the summer and autumn in the UK. In this session we’ll see how astronomers deduced the size and shape of our Galaxy from the inside. What are the components of the Milky Way? Why do we think the majority of it is made from dark matter? And how best to observe and photograph the Milky Way?
Lectures will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. Once you have booked, you will find the Zoom invitation in the Online Event Page on Eventbrite. You will also receive an email with the invitation 24 hours before the event. If you can’t find the invitation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.