Malvern U3A

Astronomy and Astrophysics

We meet on an agreed day from an agreed time. Venue: Online via Zoom.

I hope to run it virtually via Zoom on a computer only,  as it was this last year, which proved popular. I may purchase a license, or run it back to back as two 40 minute sessions.  We have 2 week break over Christmas and should finish before Easter, needing about 20 sessions  of 80 minutes in all. We do not meet in the summer.

The course is delivered in PowerPoint and notes for each session are e-mailed to course members. Slides can be requested for sending by wetransfer or dropbox. The video recordings of last year have been linked on the U3A website.   The course 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). There is a lot more material included now on professional current research using huge multi wavelength and instruments  surveys database mining and AI processing to understand the processes that govern the evolution of the universe. I also have an observatory with control room with much photographic imaging equipment and two large computer controlled large telescopes, but is not used in the course. 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.

Click here for recordings of the sessions

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