Course Summary

The Night Sky

Unit 1 - Observing The Night Sky

Selecting the best time and place to observe the night sky, with notes on the equipment you may need.

Unit 2 - Observing The Moon

Observing and understanding the moon as it waxes and wanes. You will probably want to study it through a full cycle but it really doesn't matter where in the cycle you start.

Unit 3 - Observing The Planets

The planets come and go and you will need to check your newspaper or visit a website to find out which ones are visible on any specific night. You will learn to distinguish them from stars and from each other.

Unit 4 - The Stars Of A Winter Evening

Here you will learn to identify the bright stars that are visible around 6.00 pm in early June i.e. just after nightfall. The same pattern can also be seen in the preceding months but about two hours later for every month you move back.

Unit 5 - The Stars Of A Winter Morning

This unit covers the stars that are visible around 5.00 am in June i.e. just before dawn. Between them Units 4 and 5 cover most of the bright stars that are observable in the Southern Hemisphere.

Unit 6 - The Crux Region

This region is important not only for containing the stars which are represented on our national flag but also for containing the Coalsack, the Jewel Box and many other interesting objects.

Unit 7 - The Sagittarius-Scorpius Region

This region is located in the brightest part of the Milky Way and marks the centre of our Galaxy where lurks a supermassive black hole.

Unit 8 - The Orion-Taurus Region

Another interesting region containing many bright stars and stars in the process of forming from the spectacular clouds of dust and gas present here such as the Great Orion Nebula.