Week 1: What is Astronomy? In this session an introduction to help you get started and make sense of the night sky including constellations.
Week 2: Observing Equipment what do you need to observe the night sky? This session will help you understand the characteristics of different aids as well as how to choose and set up you telescope. We will also look at the value of binoculars for astronomy.
Week 3: Deep Space: This session takes us to deep space and the various classes of deep space objects such as galaxies, clusters and nebulae. You will learn how to observe them and discuss what they teach us about the universe.
Week 4: The Solar System most of us can name some of the objects in the solar system, in this session you will delve deeper and learn not only the various bodies that make up the solar system but also solar system phenomena such as eclipses and meteor showers.
If the sky is cloudy you will have the opportunity for discussions sessions such as Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, the Size and Age of the Universe, the Danger of Asteroid/Comet Impacts on Earth or a subject chosen by the course participants.
Using presentations, astronomical models and demonstration you will learn basic effective astronomical observation and observing techniques and also object recognition, effective choice and use of observing equipment and observing aids.
Is this course for me?
This is an ideal course for beginners to learn about what is in the night sky and how to observe it.
When and where?
Wednesdays 1, 8, 15 and 22 November 2017 – 7pm to 9pm
Please arrive 10 minutes before the start of the course
Blashford Lakes is in the New Forest, situated to the north of Ringwood.
What do I need to bring?
- Binoculars and/or telescopes if you have them
- Warm outdoor clothing (dress for about 5 or 10 degrees below expected minimum temperature).
- Comfortable, sturdy footwear for walking outdoors
Stephen Tonkin is an active member of Fordingbridge Astronomers. He has taught astronomy to adults and children for over 30 years and has written books and magazine articles on practical astronomy. He is currently a STEM ambassador with a special brief for astronomy and has a monthly column in BBC Sky at Night magazine, for which he also writes equipment and book reviews.