Keighley Astronomical Society offer a range of short vocational courses in astronomy and space science that run in the evenings during the week.

Why Study with us ?

The Society offers excellent tuition delivered by Paul Neaves  BSc.Hons  MSc. A college lecturer with over twenty years experience, in Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics and Geology. We are highly rated as being enthusiastic about teaching such stimulating courses. Many of our students also go on to pursue studies at other institutions. We are pleased with our high student satisfaction. Our courses are interest based with no homework of final exam. Class sizes are no more than six students, which provides more direct tuition and the opportunities to partake in discussion.

Vocational courses

Course 1 – An Introduction to Astronomy

This course is designed for people who have previously not studied astronomy, and will give an introduction to the subject. Starting with the history of modern astronomy, this course will cover the origin and evolution of our solar

system, the life cycles of stars and the difference in structure of galaxies.

The course is split into the following section:

  1. The History Of Astronomy
  2. The Earth, Sun and Moon
  3. Planetary Systems
  4. Stars and the cycles of creation
  5. Galaxy formation and Cosmology

Course 2 – Astrophysics

Astrophysics studies the formation of stars and their planetary systems, Galaxies and the formation of the Universe. This course will provide you with excellent observational, mathematical and logical skills.

The course is split into the following sections:

  1. Overall view of astrophysics
  2. Atomic and nuclear physics in space
  3. Quantum physics
  4. Gravity
  5. Light and the electromagnetic spectrum

Course 3 – Beginning Spectroscopy

The aim of this course is to introduce the layman to spectroscopy, to outline what it is and how to study it.

The course is split into the following sections:

  1. Understand that is was Sir Isaac Newton who was first to split light using a prism.
  2. Understand the correlation before colour of light and its wavelength.
  3. Know what the Fraunhofer lines are and their significance.
  4. Understand the basic equipment needed to set up for spectroscopy.
  5. Understand how to set up for spectroscopy.
  6. Recognise the type of data required and what is needed to process it.

Course 4 – Cosmology

This course examines the basics of cosmology, how did we get here and what was the big bang? Then we move on to discuss the Galactic Structure and measurements in Astronomy.

The course is split into the following sections:

  1. Basic Cosmology.
  2. The expanding Universe.
  3. The Big Bang.
  4. Definitive proof: The Cosmic Microwave Background.
  5. What lies in the future?
  6. Galaxy shape – a useful system of classification.
  7. Our Earthly perspective.
  8. The importance of distance to other galaxies.
  9. Size matters.
  10. The view brings structure to the Universe.

Course 5 – High Energy Astrophysics

High Energy Astrophysics covers the most powerful phenomena in the Universe; topics such as Black Holes, Gamma Ray Bursts and Active Galactic Nuclei.

The course is split into the following sections:

  1. Observing the High Energy Universe.
  2. High Energy Astrophysics.
  3. Black Holes.
  4. Active Galactic Nuclei.
  5. Gamma Ray Bursts.

Course 6 – Planets of the Solar System

Comparative Planetology covers the interiors, surfaces and atmosphere of the planets and moons in our Solar System, starting with the Earth and moving out through the terrestrial and Jovian Planets to the icy worlds at the edge of the system. The planets Mars and Venus have there own geological and atmospheric processes, similar in many ways to those on Earth, but also quite different in others. The larger moons of Jupiter and Saturn also have complex histories and processes occurring in their interiors either now or in the past.

The course is split into the following sections:

  1. The formation of the Solar System.
  2. The Terrestrial Planets.
  3. The Jovian planets.
  4. The Satellites of the Jovian Planets.

Course 7 – Science of the Night Sky

This course is designed to allow you to make scientific observations from your own back garden. The course is primarily a practical one – you will be required to make observations using your telescope. This course will enable you to become familiar with using a small telescope to make your own observations, and then using your observations to determine the properties of celestial objects.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. Introduction to Astronomy.
  2. The Moon.
  3. Observing the Planets.
  4. Variable Stars.

Course 8 – Supernovae

Supernovae are highly energetic stellar explosions that can produce enough light to outshine a galaxy.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. The history of Supernovae Observation.
  2. Core Collapse Supernovae.
  3. Thermal Runway Supernovae.
  4. Supernovae and Cosmology.

Course 9 – Telescopes

Introduction for the new comers into the types of telescopes and how to use them. Countless wonders await you any clear night.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. Learn the night sky with the unaided eye.
  2. How to start stargazing with binoculars.
  3. How to use maps and guidebooks.
  4. Keeping an astronomy diary.
  5. Deciding what telescope is right for you.
  6. Different types of telescopes and optics..

Course 10 – Meteorology

An introduction to the science of weather, in order to help in the understanding of other planetary weather systems.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. Earth as a planet.
  2. The atmosphere.
  3. Weather patterns.
  4. Weather forecasting
  5. Atmospheric pollution.
  6. Climatic change.

Course 11 – Map reading

An introduction to the science or art of navigation using map and compass and GPS.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. Understanding and interpreting an OS map.
  2. Grid references.
  3. How to use a compass, and GPS.
  4. Route planning – safe and achievable routes.
  5. Where you can walk legally, and the countryside code.
  6. Navigation strategies.
  7. Weather forecasts, Staying safe, essential clothing and equipment.
  8. Walking group: This aids in the practical development of navigation and map reading skills and the promotion of physical and mental well being.

Course 12 – Geology

An introduction to the study of the rocks and  minerals that make up the Earth’s surface.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. Minerals overview.
  2. Rock formation and mountain building.
  3. Geologic time.
  4. Earth’s Spheres and internal structure.
  5. Plate tectonics.

Course 13 – The Geomorphology of West Yorkshire

A study in the landscape of this area and how it was formed.

This course is split into the following sections:

  1. Geological Evolution.
  2. Glaciation
  3. Soil development.
  4. River systems.
  5. Pennine karst areas.
  6. Mosslands
  7. Peat bog erosion.
  8. Urban development

How to express your interest?

The running of each course is dependant on the number of students expressing an interest in the selected subject, and run through the autumn, spring and early summer of the academic year. To apply for a course with us contact Keighley Astronomical society, please get in contact using one of the options here, and we will inform you when your selected course will be run, the fee and location.