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There are opportunities to join the team from mid- January 2017. Please check ABOUT US section of th...
read more » 17th Nov 2016 16:50
Exciting programme in place for the October mid-term. Join us for science and astronomy edutainment.
read more » 21st Oct 2016 17:53
Exciting summer programme of Events & Activities .. Check our calendar for details!
read more » 10th Jul 2016 09:24
The Observatory Science Centre
Herstmonceux
Hailsham
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

Email Us

Courses

Astronomy Courses for 2017

Would you like to learn how to recognize the constellations and navigate your way around the night sky? Would you like to learn more about cosmology, the solar system or life in the Universe? Are you beyond the beginner stage but are still looking to further your knowledge? The Science Centre is running 3 different evening courses in 2017 to try and answer these questions and much more.

While the dates for the Further Astronomy course and the Spring Star Search have been confirmed all other course dates still need to be approved before bookings can be taken. Please keep an eye on the website for further updates.
 
FURTHER ASTRONOMY 
STAR SEARCH (Spring and Autumn)
ASTRONOMY & SPACE: A course for beginners. 

In addition to the evening courses we are also offering one day courses:

TELESCOPE CLINICS (Spring and Autumn)
INTRODUCTION TO ASTRO-IMAGING

These one day courses include food and drink (see below).

Booking is essential for all courses and spaces are limited to 30 per course.

See How to Book
WEEKLY COURSES
Further Astronomy 2017
1 February - 8 March 


A six week course designed for more advanced students

This six week course builds on the foundation provided by the introductory course but you do not need to have completed our introductory course to take part if you already have a basic understanding of astronomy.

The aim of the course is to provide a good overview of modern astronomy and astrophysics and will:

1. Provide a good overview of some key scientific methods applied to modern astronomy
2. Introduce several modern ideas and current research areas in astronomy and astrophysics
3. Develop certain topics in more depth than in introductory courses.

The course discusses how modern science is applied to developing our understanding of a wide range of astronomical objects and other, more exotic astrophysical phenomena, and how these fit together into processes currently believed to be operating in the Universe.

The focus is on modern ideas and results, observations and theories. We discuss some of the basic science behind how we know what we know, or think we know, about different types of astronomical objects and processes including how and why they evolve and how they helped create a life-bearing environment on the Earth.

Some basic science about astronomical observations over the whole electromagnetic spectrum, telescopes, detectors and spectroscopy, will be introduced to provide an idea of how astronomers go about finding out information about objects in deep space. We shall take a look at observations and astrophysics of stars, nebulae and the interstellar medium, and also explore some cutting-edge, frontier topics including active galaxies, relativity, and the origin and fate of the Universe.

No previous science or maths knowledge is required and students do not need to have taken the introductory courses but some familiarity with basic astronomy is assumed.

Course Format

Week 1: Introduction, astronomical telescopes and instruments, non optical telescopes.

Week 2: The sun as a star, Nucleosynthesis, The interstellar medium and nebulae

Week 3: The evolution of stars, The ends of stars

Week 4: Gravity, the speed of light and special relativity, General relativity and gravity

Week 5: The universe on the large scale, The milky way as a galaxy, Galaxies and black holes. Normal and active galaxies

Week 6: Cosmology, The big bang and the creation of the universe The end of the universe? 

Time 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Dates     1 February - 8 March 
Cost £85

Course lecturer: Jarvis Brand

Numbers are limited to 30 people per course so book early!

BOOKING ESSENTIAL and is now OPEN for this course

Please phone the Centre on 01323 832731 to secure your place using a debit or credit card.

Alternatively you can book online using the eventbrite link here. Please note there is a booking fee for online booking.

We recommend warm clothing for all evening courses and a red light torch if you have one.

Star Search 2017

Two four week courses held in Spring and Autumn (see below for the dates)

These courses are designed to look at the whole sky using the unaided eye. They will help you recognise the most prominent constellations so you can use them to navigate your way around the night sky. In ancient times many stories were attached to the constellations and we will explore some of these mythologies. You will learn about the Moon and planets and there will be a brief introduction to some deeper sky objects that are often spotted through binoculars. You will also learn how to use a planisphere and star maps. We recommend that you bring a red light torch if you have one and wrap up warmly.

The course is partly classroom based but it is hoped that, weather permitting, there will be plently of opportunity to translate what has been learned indoors to the actual night sky on clear evenings.
 
The Centre’s shop sells planispheres, red light torches and many useful guides to the night sky and will be open on each evening. 

Time  7.30pm - 9.30pm
Spring  2 March - 23 March (Thursdays)
Autumn   9 October - 30 October (Mondays)
Cost  £65 per person

Course lecturer: Dr Sandra Voss

Numbers are limited to 30 people per course so book early!

BOOKING ESSENTIAL and is now OPEN for these courses

Please phone the Centre on 01323 832731 to make a booking using a debit or credit card. 

We recommend warm clothing for all evening courses and a red light torch if you have one.
What the students think!

"Very informative"

"Really enjoyed the course and learnt alot"

"The course was informative, pacy and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you!"

"This course has been better than I expected"

"Thank you so much for a wonderful presentation. I learnt so much"

"Fantastic course - inspiring. Brilliant and appropriate presentation skills"

When asked if the course met with expectations:

"Yes it was brilliant - great balance of observations, factual information well supported with illustrations and stories"

"Yes it did. In fact it went into much more detail than I had anticipated"

"Yes I learnt an awful lot and will be able to build on this" 
Astronomy and Space 2017
13th September - 6th December 

A twelve week course for beginners (with the option of one extra 13th week!)

This course is suitable for those with little or no knowledge of the subject. During the course you will be introduced to the basic techniques used in astronomy and construct your own simple telescope. You will learn about the solar system, our place in the Universe, comets and meteorites. You will be introduced to cosmology, life and death of stars, time and its importance in astronomy and discuss life in the Universe. The course also includes a lecture on and visit to the Space Geodesy Facility where they track satellites using powerful lasers.

This course is also designed so that you can take advantage of the Centre's historic telescopes. Viewing is of course weather permitting and due to the nature of the course content it may also not be possible because of time constraints. However, if the weather is good there should be plenty of opportunities for you to look through a large telescope during the 13 weeks.  

Time  7.30pm - 9.30pm
Dates     13 September - 29 November (13th week 6 December) Wednesdays
Cost  £160 per person (NO extra charge for the 13th week)
 
Course lecturers: Dr. Sandra Voss, Dr. Roger Wood, Jarvis Brand and Victoria Smith (Space Geodesy Facility).
 
Numbers are limited to 30 people per course so book early!

BOOKING ESSENTIAL 

Please phone the Centre on 01323 832731 to make a booking using a debit or credit card.

We recommend warm clothing for all evening courses and a red light torch if you have one.
What the students think!

"The course has been great and I'm looking forward to reflecting on the lectures and developing my knowledge."

"The whole course was wonderful and left me wanting more."

"Thank you for a fantastic course."

"I wasn't sure what to expect - but really enjoyed it. Complex ideas but fascinating."
ONE DAY COURSES
Telescope Clinics 2017
(Spring and Autumn)


Two one day courses (Spring and Autumn)

Do you have a telescope but don't really know how to use it properly and need some friendly advice? Have you just been given a telescope as a present or is one still sitting in its box gathering dust and you would like to learn how to use it? Well this is the course for you!

Our local Astronomy Society (Wealden Astronomical Society) will be able to guide you through your telescope and help you set it up ready to begin your observations. The day will begin with an introduction about telescopes, the terminology used and the parts that make up the telescope and how they work. This will be followed by small group sessions when you get really hands-on. The early evening will be dedicated to looking through your telescope and getting to grips with what your telescope is capable of (weather permitting).

Members of WAS have a number of different telescopes and are able to offer help and advice about different brands. When you make your booking please let us know the make and type of telescope, including the mount if known, so that when you bring it along with you we can make sure you are put into the correct small group.

The price of the day includes tea/coffee during two breaks and an early evening supper of beef lasagne or jacket potato with cheese and beans both served with garlic bread and salad. Please let us know your preference when you book. 

Time    2pm - 8pm
Spring  11 February
Autumn    25 November
Cost  £40 per person

Numbers are limited to 30 people so book early!

BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Please phone the Centre on 01323 832731 to secure your place using a debit or credit card. Alternatively you can book online using the eventbrite link here. Please note there is a booking fee for online booking at the moment this is for the SPRING event ONLY).

We recommend warm clothing for all evening courses and a red light torch if you have one.

What the participants think!

Although cloudy, very informative

Thank you for a really enjoyable afternoon

It gave me more confidence using my telescope

There was excellent tips on what I should do, so thanks.

Thanks especially to Steve for being so patient and for explaining everything to us. We really appreciate all he has taught us.

The staff member helping me was excellent and helpful

The Wealden AS were very helpful and informative

Food was great! 
Introduction To Astro-imaging 2017
(Spring and Autumn) 


Two one day courses

In this introductory course you will learn about the equipment that you will need (telescopes, mounts, autoguiders etc), imaging with DSLRs, polar-alignment, CCD techniques (calibration etc) and image processing.  

The price of the day includes tea/coffee during morning and afternoon and buffet lunch of sandwiches and cake.

Time    10.30am - 4.30pm
Spring 26 March 
Autumn  17 September
Cost £40 per person

Course lecturer: Nik Szymanek

BOOKING ESSENTIAL


Numbers are limited to 30 people so book early!

What the participants think!

Great day, course given by a very keen astrophotographer. Gave me a good insight into this area. Many thanks.

Really great course perfectly suited to me as someone who is an SLR user and wants to expand to astro-imaging and learn how to process the images. Nik is a great tutor with a wealth of knowledge. Thanks for an enjoyable day.

A worthwhile day. Thank you Nik

Booking is essential for all courses

How to Book

To make a booking please telephone the Centre and reserve your place using a credit or debit card.

Telephone: 01323 832731

Alternatively we are offering on-line booking for specific events. Please follow the link highlighted in the relevant information section above.

Refund policy: Any refunds will incur a £5 administration charge. Please note; we will not be able to refund any bookings within 7 days of the event taking place.
Click here to contact us
Telephone: 01323 832731