This six-week course for intermediates builds on the foundation provided by introductory courses and aims to provide a good overview of modern astronomy by describing how scientific methods are used to discover the kinds of astronomical objects that exist and how and why they evolve throughout their lives.
Topics covered include: observational techniques over the whole electromagnetic spectrum, telescopes, detectors and spectroscopy, mapping the sky, coordinate systems and distance scales, observations of stars, how we learn about the structure, energy sources and the lives of stars, the space between the stars and our galaxy, observations of the distribution and various types of ordinary and active galaxies, and a description of the modern cosmos and the origin of the Universe.
The course focuses on modern results and observations and on understanding the basic science behind how we know what we know or think we know about astronomy and how various objects fit together into a modern description of processes operating in the Universe.
No previous science or maths knowledge is required and the course presents modern astronomical ideas while remaining well within school level science. Course lecturer: William Joyce