Astronomy for beginners - an online course

Have you always wanted to know more about the universe? Discover the wonders of astronomy, including how to observe the night sky, with an award-winning space author and experienced tutor.

This online beginners course is the perfect introduction to astronomy. Starting with the basics, by the end you’ll know how to observe the night sky, which telescope to buy and better understand the how the universe works.

All explained in simple, everyday language with no maths or complex jargon.

What have people said about these online courses? 

"Totally engrossing"

"You certainly have a knack of explaining really complex things in an accessible and understandable way!"

"Really well thought out and crystal clear. It’s a truly exhilarating series of classes!"

"Colin is an amazing teacher - fabulous visual aids and he explains everything so clearly"

What will I learn?

Galileo's Moon drawings - part of Astronomy for Beginners online course

Part 1 – The History of Astronomy

Key topic: the Copernican revolution and the invention of the telescope

We first started keeping records of the night sky tens of thousands of years ago. You’ll discover how we then learned more about ourselves and our place in space

[image: Galileo’s early drawings of the Moon)

A solar eclipse - part of Astronomy for Beginners online course

Part 2 – The Sun, The Earth and The Moon

Key topics: seasons, phases & eclipses

Explore the interplay between the Earth and the two biggest objects in the sky. Learn why we have seasons, tides, moon phases and lunar and solar eclipses.

[image: 2019 solar eclipse from Chile – ESO]

Pluto - part of Astronomy for Beginners online course

Part 3 – The Solar System

Key topics: the planets

You may have learned the order of the planets at school, but how well do you really know them? We’ll fly through the solar system, taking in majestic gas giants, gnarled asteroids and frigid comets. We’ll see what happened to Pluto

[image: Pluto – New Horizons]

The Milky Way - part of Astronomy for Beginners online course

Part 4 – The Night Sky 

Key topic: stars, constellations, telescopes

People find the night sky intimidating, but it needn’t be. I’ll tell you everything you need to know to observe its wonders, including demystifying how telescopes work and what to buy (and what not to!)

[image: The Milky Way from Chile – my image]


James Webb - part of Astronomy for Beginners online course

Part 5 – Big Telescopes

Key topics: the electromagnetic spectrum, professional astronomy

A look at the best telescopes around the world and in space. You’ll learn how professional astronomers use them to decipher the universe’s secrets

[image: the James Webb Space Telescope – NASA]

About me


I’m a multi-award-winning astronomy author and speaker. My nineteen books have sold more than 400,000 copies worldwide and been translated into 21 languages. Plus I’ve written over 200 popular science articles for publications including The Guardian, New Scientist, The Wall Street Journal and BBC Science Focus. I also write the monthly Absolute Beginners column for Astronomy Now magazine.

As well as writing a book with the astronaut Tim Peake, I’ve won The Margaret Mallett Award for Children’s Non-Fiction and the AAS Solar Physics Popular Media award. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, I’ve appeared on BBC News, Sky News and Radio 5Live. I’m also lucky enough to have had the asteroid (15347) Colinstuart named after me.

When is this next running?

I’m busy converting this into a course that’s available on demand so that you can access anytime and work through at your own pace. It should be ready to go later in 2022.

Want to be the first to hear when it goes live and receive a 10% discount? Just fill out the form below.

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