Welcome to Astronomy
"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."
If you are fascinated by the night sky and our continuing exploration of the Universe, then the GCSE Astronomy course is for you. Through a mixture of theory work and observation, you will have the opportunity to explore our solar system and look further towards stars, nebulae, quasars, supernova, black holes and more. During the course you will complete two observing projects, giving you the opportunity to experience the wonders of the night sky through a telescope.
What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?
You don't need any special prior knowledge of Astronomy; all that you need to know will have been covered within your Science lessons in Years 7 to 8.
Do I need to buy a telescope?
You do not need to buy any special equipment for the GCSE Astronomy course; there are a number of small telescopes available at school for you to use. You will also have the opportunity to work in our brand new observatory; more details about this exciting development can be found by visting the observatory blog: http://mpole2011.wordpress.com/
Key Stage 4:
The material in this course is divided into four area:
- Earth, Moon and Sun
- Planetary Systems
- Galaxies and Cosmology
The Malcolm Parry Observatory will house a 16" Meade Telescope, which will be available for use by GCSE Astronomy students. The Observatory will also be the home of a hydrogen-alpha solar telescope, enabling us to safely observe the Sun. Looking at the Sun with a normal telescope is very dangerous and should never be attempted. The students will be able to take photographs through the telescopes using the Observatory's CCD imaging camera and colour filters. Fully equipped ICT facilities will enable the students to use the specialist software to process and enhance their images.
We also have a set of smaller telescopes and binoculars that are available for loan to GCSE Astronomy students so they can complete night time observations at home.
We run many extra-curricular astronomy events here at TLES. These usually take place in the evening, with a talk about an exciting aspect of Astronomy followed by an observing session. We also hold events for Stargazing Live and are developing an Astronomical Society that will be open to all.