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 six week beginners astronomy course is the perfect introduction to the subject. 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 math(s) or complex jargon.

Next course: 12 September – 17 October 2023

Live classes every Tuesday, 19:00 – 21:00 British Summer Time via Zoom

Interactivity and questions are optional, but very much encouraged

Can’t make one of the sessions? All classes will be recorded and the videos made available to watch indefinitely (participants’ cameras are not recorded).

What do people say about my online astronomy courses? 


What will I learn?

Week 1: The History of Astronomy

Part 1 - Astronomy for Beginners online course

Key topics: 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)

Week 2: The Sun, The Earth & The Moon

Part 2 - Astronomy for Beginners online course

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]

Week 3: The Solar System

Part 3 - Astronomy for Beginners online course

Key topic: 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]

Week 4: The Night Sky

Part 4 - Astronomy for Beginners online course


Key topics: 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]

Week 5: Big Telescopes

Part 5 - Astronomy for Beginners online course

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]

Week 6: Big Questions

Part 5 - Astronomy for Beginners online course

We’ll discuss some of the biggest unanswered questions in astronomy today:

Are we alone in the universe?

What’s at the bottom of a black hole?

What caused the Big Bang?

What is the universe made of?

Is time travel possible?

[image: black hole – NASA]

About me

Colin Stuart - Astronomy author, speaker & tutor

I’m a multi-award-winning astronomy author and speaker. My twenty 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.

Signed books

The Universe in Bite-Sized Chunks book

include a signed copy of the book the course is partly based on

“I wish I could give it 6 stars. Such a perfect read. 10/10 on all fronts from organization of chapters, quality of content, quality of writing, subtle sprinkles of humour. No jargon and yet written in such a way that you don’t feel talked down to.”

– Goodreads Reviewer

Book your place now by selecting your preferred currency

(choose GBP if you’d like a signed book sent outside the UK, Europe, USA or Canada)

£125 GBP

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€149 EUR

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$169 USD

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C$221 CAD

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