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Introduction to Summer Astronomy
June 4 @ 11:00 am - July 2 @ 11:00 am£4.00 - £15.00
A course of five lectures in astronomy by Dr. Adrian Jannetta, on Saturdays from 11 am to 12 noon.
This introduction to astronomy is aimed at astronomy enthusiasts of all ages. The course is designed to bring you up to speed on a wide range of subjects: the solar system, exoplanets, spaceweather (aurora and noctilucent clouds), the Sun and stars, the Milky Way, black holes and recent discoveries in cosmology and astrophysics. These subjects will be linked to practical advice about tracking down different stars and constellations in the summer night sky.
Week 1: The Solar System
This tour of the solar system will bring incredible views of the Sun, planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids and comets! Practical advice about viewing the planets with telescopes and where to find them in the night sky this year. Constellation focus this week is Bootes, the Herdsman with its brightest star, Arcturus.
Week 2: Spaceweather
Summer evenings may be short but there is much to see! Aurora, noctilucent clouds and meteors are collectively known as spaceweather. They take place high in the Earth’s atmosphere – at the ever changing boundary where the Sun’s atmosphere interacts with our own. Constellation focus this week is Hercules and how to track down the fabulous Hercules Globular Cluster.
Week 3: The Stars
How do stars shine? A brief overview of stellar evolution: how stars are born and how they die. By the end of this session you’ll know the difference between red giants, white dwarfs and neutron stars! Constellation focus this week is Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown) with some very odd stars indeed!
Week 4: Black holes and ripples in spacetime
The gravity of collapsing stars can warp regions of space so severely that they become cut off from the rest of the universe – a black hole is formed! When black holes collide and merge the immense energy released shakes the fabric of space and time. Gravitational waves from these events were seen for the first time just a few years ago. Constellation focus is Sagittarius (the Archer) and home of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
Week 5: The Multiverse
The universe may not be all that there is! We’ll briefly review Big Bang theory in terms of the observable universe, then examine several versions of the multiverse – ensembles of universes – in which you may also exist! We’ll explore the science behind multiverse theories. Constellation focus this week is Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.
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.