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Introduction to Astronomy: Individual Lectures
February 6, 2021 @ 11:00 am - March 6, 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.
During this 5-week run, you will learn how the Sun and other stars shine, see the exciting discoveries of planets around other stars, and find out about the origin and evolution of the entire universe. As usual each week will have an outline of interesting things to look for in the night sky for the week ahead.
6th Feb: Week 1 – Stars
A short introduction to the lives of stars. How are stars born? How do they shine? Why do they have different colours? Why do some stars explode when they die? Meet the stars so dense a teaspoon of material weighs a billion tonnes. And get to know your local star – the Sun.
13th Feb: Week 2 – Exoplanets
There has been an explosion of planet discoveries in recent years. Not in our solar system but around other stars. Even conservative estimates suggest there are billions of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way. How do astronomers look for these exoplanets? How can we infer conditions on their surfaces? And will life ever be found on worlds beyond our own?
20th Feb: Week 3 – Ripples in spacetime
Why do things fall? The pursuit of gravity led Newton to new mathematical and scientific discoveries and eventually allowed missions to the moon and planets. Newton’s theory of gravity isn’t perfect and Einstein developed a new way of thinking about gravity, space and time which led to predictions about black holes, development of GPS technology and the discovery of a new window into the universe using gravitational waves.
27th Feb: Week 4 – The Moon
The Moon is our nearest neighbour in space. What are the dark and light regions on its surface? Why does its appearance change? Despite its familiarity in the sky the Moon is a deeply unusual object compared to most moons in the solar system. Its orbit and size hint at traumatic birth more than 4 billion years ago. The Moon affects our tides, lengthens our days and undergoes dramatic eclipses. Everything you need to know about our only natural satellite!
6th March: Week 5 – The Universe
This week we’ll tackle the big questions about the origin and evolution of the universe. How do astronomers know the universe is expanding? Why is 95% of the universe in a form we don’t understand? Will the universe end? What happened before the Big Bang? Are we part of a multiverse?
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 email@example.com.