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Introduction to Astronomy: Full Series

October 30, 2021 @ 11:00 am - November 27, 2021 @ 12:00 pm

A short course on the moon, planets, stars and cosmology, and practical observing tips. Lots to learn for beginners or seasoned observers.

A short course in astronomy by Dr. Adrian Jannetta covering basic concepts, practical experience and the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. During this 5-week run you’ll learn how to find the planets, do some astrophotography and discover things you never knew about stars, galaxies and the larger universe! As usual we’ll discuss current events such as meteor showers and a (potentially) bright comet coming in December.

This listing is for the full series. If you want to book a single lecture, click here.

Week 1 – The Solar System

A beginner’s guide to the solar system. We’ll take a look at recent images and discoveries about the Sun, planets and their moons. Also – a practical guide to locating and observing the planets in the night sky.

Week 2 – Stars and galaxies

In this session we’ll look at stars and stellar evolution. What makes a star shine? Why do they have different colours? How do they live and die? Galaxies are islands in the universe built from stars, gas and dust and dark matter. We’ll look at how astronomers classify galaxies and what they can tell us about the expanding universe. The Andromeda Galaxy is visible in the sky at this time of the year; advice for finding it with naked eye, binoculars and telescopes will be given!

Week 3 – Calculating the cosmos

The universe seems to be governed by mathematical laws. Motions of planets, the rings of Saturn, shapes of galaxies and the existence of black holes. Do we live in a clockwork universe? Or will there always be some things we can never predict?

Week 4 – Introduction to astrophotography

It is easier than ever to take pictures of the night sky! This session will introduce techniques needed to capture and process images of the night sky, Milky Way, the moon and planets and deepsky objects like nebulas and galaxies. We’ll cover useful steps such as stacking images and the software needed to process the images.

Week 5 – Comets and Meteors

We’ll look ahead to two exciting sky events in December. The Geminid meteor shower takes place – usually the strongest of the annual showers. At around the same time our sky may be graced with the brightest comet since NEOWISE in 2020. In this session we’ll explore the link between comets and meteors along with advice for observing the Geminids and the recently discovered Comet Leonard.

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 berwickea@gmail.com.

If you book this course online, we will hold your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy. If you do not wish us to hold your personal data, please book by post (see www.berwickea.co.uk) and do not supply an email address.


October 30, 2021 @ 11:00 am
November 27, 2021 @ 12:00 pm