The Wider Universe
This new 4 week course is just above beginner level, aimed at those with a basic understanding of astronomy. It will go beyond our Solar System and introduce you to stars, galaxies and cosmology.
This brand new course for 2022 is offering a shorter more targeted course for those with a basic understanding of astronomy. Some astronomy knowledge is assumed because it will address some harder to grasp subjects like cosmology which will include the Big Bang. It will also introduce you to our place in the Universe; a Universe that contains about 2 trillion galaxies! See course content below.
The course is presented on one evening per week from Thursday 20th October to Thursday 10th November.
While mainly classroom based, the 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 may be opportunities for you to look through a large telescope during the 4 weeks.
This course is aimed at adults. If you wish to enquire about booking an under 18 (with a full paying accompanying adult) onto the course then please phone The Centre on 01323 832731. Not suitable for under 14.
Course lecturer: Collin Jones
Collin has recently gained his MSc in Astrophysics from the University of Aberystwyth.
Time: 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Dates: 20th October - 10th November
You can book online using Paypal or by telephone. To make a booking over the phone using a credit or debit card please telephone 01323 832731 to secure your place(s).
We recommend that you bring a red light torch if you have one and please wear warm clothing and sensible footwear.
There is a break half way through the lecture and hot drinks can be purchased at the reduced rate of just £1.50 for tea and £1.75 for coffee. Cold drinks and snacks can be purchased at the regular price.
Over the course of four weeks we look beyond the solar system at ever increasing scales to discover how we known what we know about the universe.
Week 1 – The Nearby Stars
For a long time the stars were thought to be beyond comprehension because, lying so far away, they were beyond study. We will discover how ingenuity and some rather nifty technology allow us to measure the distances to stars even when they may lie thousands of trillions of km from the Earth. But not only how we know where they are but from that how we know how powerful they are, what drives the stars and how we can probe the insides of stars that can lie at the far side of the Universe
Week 2 – Our galaxy
Having surveyed the nearby stars our attention turns to the galaxy at large. We step up our scale from the thousands of stars that make up our night sky to the billions that make up the galaxy. How from the inside of the galaxy can we know so much about it? How can we measure the size, shape, mass, age, composition and a thousand and one other properties. Once we answer that we can discover how we know how the galaxy will develop in the future.
Week 3 – Exotic objects
In week three there is an opportunity to discover some of the exotic objects which we haven’t mentioned so far. Black holes and supernovae, white dwarfs and red giants the start and end points of stars in extreme conditions. But having discovered those we will find a whole class of objects that are even more exotic; objects that can spin faster than the blink of a human eye or which lie at the furthest reaches of the universe and outshine entire galaxies, quasars, pulsars, neutron stars and other objects that defy human experience if not understanding.
Week 4 – The creation and end of the universe
And finally … we finish with a look at the universe on the grandest of scales spanning all the way from the start of the universe (and before?) to the end of the universe (and after?) Areas where, much as we might have learned a lot, we have raised yet more questions.
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The Wider Universe Enquiry
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The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. The registered office is 3 – 15 Stirling Road, Acton, London. W3 8DJ. UK.