Theory Courses 2021

The Universe makes just enough sense to reward the curious
without sacrificing the gravity of its limitless mystery.

The Cryptonaturalist

We have developed modern courses since 2017 and we now have a complete series of four courses which will run throughout the year. This series gives a complete and thorough overview of basic Astronomy. Our theory courses are updated every year and are designed to promote an interest in the general sciences and mathematics, that is sorely needed for our younger generation, as well as for many parents and other educators.

As these four courses form a logical progression it is recommended to take them in succession. We start in Term 1 with the Solar System course which is a solid foundation for the next courses in this sequel. The fourth course has been discounted to encourage participants to take the whole sequence this year.

Term 1 - Exploring the Solar System 

We explore our immediate neighbourhood in the Universe in this course, the Sun, the planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets and even recently discovered extra-solar visitors. Because there is so much to choose from, each year this course is different and we will make a selection of contemporary topics and also take suggestions from participants. Mars will definitely feature because this course starts around the time that three missions will arrive at the Red planet. Our own moon Luna is actively being explored at present on near and far side and recent advances in exploration of asteroids and comets cannot be ignored either, including recent sample return missions.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 16 February.


Cost $70 for 7 weeks
(Enrolled or home-schooled students half price).


Term 2 - Leaving the Solar System 

In this course we leave our Solar System for the first time and explore up to a distance of about 7000 light years which is the distance up to which we can see individual stars with the unaided eye. As a significant part of this course we cover several aspects of senior physics at a level that anyone can understand, which is giving younger participants an advantage over their peers. This is needed to have a foundation to discuss major observation techniques in modern astronomy. We look at different types of stars and other celestial objects that we encounter on our journey. We also discuss the search for exoplanets, which happens particularly in this region that we call the Solar neighbourhood.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 18 May.


Cost $70 for 7 weeks
(Enrolled or home-schooled students half price).


Term 3 - Exploring the Milky Way

Here we travel up to about 500,000 light years to include our entire home galaxy as well as surrounding Dwarf galaxies. We will look at the structure and dynamics of this grand spiral galaxy in detail. This includes a dive into the very centre of the galaxy with its supermassive black hole. This also gives an opportunity to introduce the basics of General Relativity and to discuss the concept of Black Holes in general. In the footsteps of Vera Rubin we will talk about the mysterious Dark Matter. We discuss the latest discoveries and will be amazed at what astronomers have learned about our galaxy in just the last hundred years.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 10 August.


Cost $70 for 7 weeks
(Enrolled or home-schooled students half price).


Term 4 - Going Deep

The title of this course that was piloted last year, has a double meaning. We are traveling all the way to the edge of the observable Universe and on the way discuss the various structures and super structures that make up the Universe. But we also go deep into the really big mysteries of the Universe. We will talk about the paradigm shifts in modern cosmology: the expanding and the accelerating Universe and review some of the really big questions in astronomy and cosmology about how it all began and where it is going. We conclude this course with an overview of the major remaining problems for astronomers, in understanding our Universe.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 26 October.


Cost $70 for 7 weeks
(Enrolled or home-schooled students half price).

For those who have enrolled this year in all previous three courses described above, before 31 March 2021 (which is just after the end of the first course), this fourth course is FREE.
Participants who have enrolled this year in all previous three courses after 31 March 2021, this course is half price ($35 / $17.50).


More details in Menu Enrollment.