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  • Part I - Historical, cultural and modern astronomy

    Course guide

    1: A Sense of Scale

    How big is the Universe? How long has the Universe been around? Astronomy and astrology; value of astronomy in science. In particular this session is an opportunity for people who are unfamiliar with computers to learn to use a personal computer and to become accustomed to the world wide web.

    • Video - Powers of Ten
    • Practical Exercise - Tour of the night sky I

    2: A Universe of colour

    The night sky has always appeared strangely colourless to the eye, however it requires modern imaging techniques to reveal the colours which tell us of the origin and destiny of the stars. In this virtual exhibition and accompanying video Professor David Malin (Anglo-Australian Observatory) describes how the true colours of the Universe are revealed and what they mean.

    • Video - The man who colours the stars
    • Computer Laboratory - Moons of Jupiter (to be completed over two units of the course - unit2 and unit4)

    3: Ancient astronomy

    The modern view of the Sun-Earth-Moon system; early civilisations' view of the Universe; Greek cosmological theory

    • Video - The Sky
    • Computer Laboratory - Tour of the night sky II

    4: The birth of 'modern' astronomy

    Copernicus and the subsequent revolution in thought; Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Einstein; the astronomical and technological revolution

    • Video - Newton, Einstein & Gravity
    • Computer Laboratory - Moons of Jupiter (to be completed over two units of the course - unit2 and unit4)

    5: The Earth in space

    This session covers seasons, tides, phases of the Moon; eclipses; monitoring and communications satellites; finding your way around the night sky; constellations; motion of the planets

    • Video - Cycles of the sky
    • Practical Exercise - The Flow of Energy from the Sun(to be completed over two units of the course - unit5 and unit6)

    6: Modern Observatories

    Underground, ground and space-based ... professional multi-wavelength astronomy; the electromagnetic spectrum; the Liverpool robotic telescope and the World-Wide Web

    • Video - The tools of astronomy
    • Computer Laboratory - The Flow of Energy from the Sun(to be completed over two units of the course - unit5 and unit6)

    7: The Sun

    Solar flares; sunspots; solar granulation; internal structure; composition; solar corona and wind; solar energy; solar neutrino problem.

    • Video - The Sun
    • Computer Laboratory - Tracking sunspots

    8: The Solar system

    Inner 'rocky' planets; asteroids; outer gaseous planets; comets; formation and evolution; planetary exploration; planetary mining

    • Video - Origin of the solar system
    • Computer Laboratory - Craters in the solar system

    Part Two