Astronomy and Astrophysics

We meet on an agreed day in the month from an agreed time at the Leaders home.

Meetings are weekly for 2 hour sessions with a mid session 15 minute break, at the Leader’s home. The choice of day of the week and timing is by consensus, preference is from 3pm or flexible if Wednesdays or Thursdays. The course runs from mid-October finishing before Easter. We do not meet in the summer.

The course is delivered in PowerPoint and notes for each session are e-mailed to course members. It covers historical astronomy and the celestial sphere, star maps, the seasons and basic orbital theory. Then progresses to Kepler’s laws, orbital dynamics and Newtonian gravitation. We cover the solar system and all the planets within and their basic structure and planetary physics, optics and instrumentation, atomic theory, nuclear structure and particle physics. The meaning of reality and influence from observation. Then the life cycle of stars; the dynamics of galaxies and the structure of the universe, special and general relativity (the geometry of space and time with on screen interstellar travel demonstrations) and finally Cosmology (Evolution of the universe including the very start – Big-Bang).

I also have an observatory with control room with much photographic imaging equipment and two large computer controlled large telescopes. You are welcome to come out in evenings for that, but typically there are only about two clear nights a month, and no one has done so. You will see many of my images of celestial objects anyway. A basic understanding of science in the first place is helpful for the course but is not a requirement.

Leader: Chris Baddiley
Phone: 01886 880047
Email: cjbaddiley -at- gmail -dot- com

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