Online Courses 2023 - Are these for you?
Are there any prior requirements for attending our courses?
Just the one.
You need to have an interest in what happens in space outside our planet. We are not missionaries trying to “convert” anyone, just because we happen to be seriously interested in astronomy ourselves. Throughout history humans have looked up in amazement at the night sky and today the large majority of all people can still sense this amazement. In addition, in the present day it is hard to escape from all the publicity about new discoveries and new exploration programmes in astronomy and space science.
If you bring this spark of interest then our courses will help you to light your flame. This is our primary mission.
We are not just showing pretty pictures, although there is a wealth of mind boggling imagery out there. We do not shy away from talking about serious science, but our second mission is to explain topics in normal English so that anyone with an interest can understand it.
Any age restrictions?
Not really. We have had children as young as seven who actively participated. And we have had pensioners and any other age group in between.
We really enjoy having young people in our courses. Astronomy is a gateway science and it opens doors of interest to underlying sciences like physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and also history, mythology, and the humanities; just about any science really.
In our experience, the best combination is when a (grand)parent or caregiver attends together with sons and/or daughters. They operate as a team and continue discussions at the dinner table. That is just about the best form of education for young and adult alike.
How long are our courses?
Our courses each last for at least seven consecutive weeks on Tuesdays with two hour sessions each week. We follow the school terms and have one course each term. See the course description and schedule for the dates.
From 2022 we offer our courses in theoretical Astronomy online using Zoom Meetings. Therefore you can take these courses from any location where you have a reliable internet connection and are in a convenient time zone (see below).
At what times?
In principle from 7 pm to 9 pm New Zealand Standard Time. For time conversion to your time zone go here.
The start at 7 pm is precise and if you sign in late you will miss something. So please sign in to our Zoom sessions at least 5 minutes early and let us start at 7 pm sharp. We run a video from about 6:45 until the start of the session so that all can settle in. At the end we do not look at the clock when we are having an interesting discussion, so the session may last a bit longer than the scheduled two hours.
We always have a short break about half way but keep that limited to about five minutes.
When you are enrolled to a course you will receive an invitation email with a link to join the Zoom session. If you haven't used Zoom before, the web browser client (software) will download automatically when you join your first Zoom meeting. We advise however to download and install it prior to the first session from their website here. You do NOT need to pay anything and a free Zoom subscription gives you access to our online courses.
We recommend that as a device you use at least a tablet, but suggest to use a laptop or desktop computer. The course fee entitles to use one device where more than one person can attend. This is ideal if you have younger people who are interested. Only the chief applicant can participate in chats and audio, the others are "silent" attendants. They can ask questions via the chief applicant, so you work as a team. You can also have more than one enrolment per household, but please have each device in a different room to avoid audio feedback.
We are happy to give support before the start of a course session to make sure that you are comfortable with the Zoom environment.
Any other questions?
Look at the other menu items for detailed course and enrolment information.
For other inquiries on our online courses use the link in the footer of this website.