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Online Astronomy Courses 2023

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

The Cryptonaturalist

We have developed modern Astronomy 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 the principles of Astronomy and Cosmology. These 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, other educators and the general public alike.

We start in Term 1 with the course Exploring the Solar System which is a more or less stand-alone course.

The next three courses explore the Universe at increasingly larger scale. These three courses form a logical progression as they discuss observation techniques and underlying basic physics. They are therefore offered as one unit under the title Exploring the Universe.

Our Theory courses are presented online using Zoom Meetings. You can take them from the comfort of your own home or from any other location where you have a reliable internet connection. The course fee entitles to one active participant (one device) while others can watch as additional silent attendants (same device).


We record all sessions on video, which we will share with enrolled participants.
We will send 
a private YouTube link by email soon after each session.
This is ideal to revisit any previous session (recommended!)
and also convenient for those who missed any night.




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 there are so many active missions on and around the Red planet. Our own moon Luna is actively being explored at present on near and far side and we may also spend some time on the groundbreaking Juno mission around Jupiter. Recent advances in exploration of asteroids and comets cannot be ignored either, including sample return missions.

See lecture list here.

This eight week course starts Tuesday 14 February 2023.

Cost $60 per connected device.

Exploring the Universe

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.

See lecture list here.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 9 May 2023.

Term 3 - Exploring the Milky Way

Here we explore a region with size of 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 Special and 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.

See lecture list here.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 1 August 2023.

Term 4 - Going Deep

The title of this course that was piloted in 2019, 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. This builds on the principles of General Relativity that have been discussed in the previous course.

We conclude this course with an overview of the major remaining problems for astronomers, in understanding our Universe.

See lecture list here.

This seven week course starts Tuesday 24 October 2023.

Cost for the three-course series Exploring the Universe $145.