#38530 ASTRONOMY 101 (4-WEEKS)

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what you are looking at?   This course is for you! Designed for people who are fascinated by the night sky and have wondered about how it came to be and how we know what we know.

Our experienced tutor, Becky Bateman, both stargazer and teacher, will lead you through basic observations and interesting facts, stories about stars, planets, moons and constellations, to further extended learning about what is happening above us, in the night sky. **No astronomy background is required.

One of the four evenings will include a field trip out to observe the sky with telescopes and binoculars.


Course Code: 38530

Dates:   25th May – 15th June 2022 (4-weeks)
Times:   Wednesday Nights
–              25th May, 1st June, 8th June  7:00pm – 8:30pm (Waihinga Centre)
–              15th June: 8:30 – 10:00pm (Observation night)
Tutor:   Becky Bateman
Venue: Supper Room, Waihinga Centre, Texas Street, Martinborough
Cost:    $100

Must Enrol by:   20th May – Please note: Courses need a minimum number to go ahead so if we don’t have enough enrolments a few days before the start date, we will have to cancel. We will contact you if this is the case.

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COURSE INFORMATION FOR #38530 – Astronomy 101

Course Tutor:  Becky Bateman is an award-winning stargazing guide. She has loved looking up and wondering about the stars ever since she was a little girl in England. She brought her passion and knowledge over to New Zealand ten years ago and is blown away by the sky here. Today, Becky runs a nomadic stargazing business in the Wairarapa called Under The Stars and believes that everyone should be able to see the night sky. Becky is a founding member of the Wairarapa Dark Sky Society which aims to make Wairarapa into an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Purpose of the Course:

Becky will guide you through this four-week course,  designed for people who are fascinated by the night sky, Wairarapa hosts who may be having visitors asking about the night sky or people who have a small understanding of astronomy but would like to know more.

 Course Outline:  By the end of this course participants will have learnt about:

    • Week One: The Sun to Pluto and Everything In-between  –  Find out about how the Sun shines, what makes a planet, and why Pluto isn’t one anymore. Discover which planet used to be called George and which one rains diamonds. All this plus Moon calendars, asteroids, and how Jupiter helped wipe out the Dinosaurs.
    • Week Two: Beyond the Solar System – Whereabouts is our Solar System, what are galaxies and why do they look like drunk octopuses? Discover the answers, plus how black holes are made and why you would be best to avoid them. See the baby universe photo album and why we shouldn’t be worried about the Andromeda Galaxy.
    • Week Three: Life, Aliens and Where Are They? – Why have we not found any aliens yet? The reasons are a little more complicated than you might think. We look at suitable worlds, what aliens may be like, the goldilocks zone, and the problems of communication. And whose voice would Aliens hear first and why is a water bear so interesting to astrobiologists?
    • Week Four: Observation Night – (weather permitting!) This session will take place on a clear night – observing the Summer sky, understanding the link between constellations and stars, taking a look at some celestial objects and nearby deep sky objects. You will be able to see the Milky Way Galaxy and understand through legends how it was an important marker for ancient peoples. You will learn how to read the sky by celestial navigation techniques, star-hopping, and reading a star map. **Telescopes and binoculars are provided on the night, so you can delve deeper into space.

Pre-requisites (if any): No previous astronomy knowledge is required.

Please contact community@reapwairarapa.nz for any further information you may require.