Course length: 2 days
Dates: Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd May 2020
Time: 10am – 4pm both days
Venue: White Rock Hotel & Theatre, Hastings
Using a range of apps on mobile devices, plus a pop-up digital planetarium, this weekend astronomy course aims to ignite curiosity in space and develop digital skills to help you navigate the night sky and plan your observing evenings.
If you’re interested in learning about astronomy, but are not yet ready to venture outside on cold dark nights, this intensive weekend course is a really good way to grasp the subject. Learning about the amazing objects within our Solar System and the Galaxy beyond is perhaps a better way to start this fascinating hobby than buying lots of kit and not knowing what you’re looking at! This course will immerse and engage you with the wonders of astronomy through hands-on activities using iPads, smart phones, VR headsets, and a mobile planetarium. Day one (Saturday) will take place at the White Rock Hotel where you’ll be actively learning through digital mediums, including the leading digital planetarium software, Stellarium. Day two (Sunday) will take place next to the hotel, at the White Rock Theatre, where you’ll be spending much of the day inside the planetarium, punctuated by activities and exercises outside the dome. Throughout the weekend you’ll be learning about the Sun, planets and moons of the Solar System; Messier objects, including galaxies, nebulae and star clusters; you’ll learn about the sizes, composition and distances of these objects. So, by the end of this interactive weekend, you’ll be ready to point a telescope or binoculars skyward and have a deeper understanding of what you’re looking at! No previous astronomy knowledge is needed for this course, but familiarity with digital technology is a must.
COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES
After studying this course you should be able to:
• download and use a variety of digital apps for smartphone or tablet
• download and operate free planetarium software on your home computer
• identify and analyse a number of astronomical targets including star birth nebulae, globular clusters, and supernova remnants
• discuss and summarise facts about Solar System objects including planets, moons, asteroids, and dwarf planets
• demonstrate knowledge about orbits and the gravitational influence of the Sun
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Notepad and pen
iPad with Stellarium app pre-loaded (optional)
Smartphone running App Store or Google Play
The White Rock Hotel, White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JU
White Rock Theatre, White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JX
Both hotel and theatre are situated right on the seafront, opposite Hastings Pier. We’ll be in one of the hotel’s meeting rooms with uninterrupted views out to sea; and in the theatre, we’ll be in the Sussex Studio at lower ground floor level. There are café bars at both venues with amazing sea views, both serving hot and cold drinks during break time. The hotel café also serves food, but at the theatre, the kitchen is currently undergoing refurbishment so is unable to serve food. The hotel is only accessed via steps, whereas the theatre has ramp and lift access to all levels. Both venues have free wifi.
By bus: The 23 and 26 from the east and 23A and 26A from the west stop right outside the White Rock Hotel
By train: Hastings rail station is a 10 minute walk, with trains from Bexhill, Battle and Rye
By car: The hotel and theatre are on the A259 coast road opposite the pier
There’s a choice of Pay & Display street parking and public car parks within close proximity of the hotel. If you don’t mind a short walk, there’s free unrestricted street parking not far away too. Blue Badge holders can park at the front of the hotel in the Pay & Display bays (unlimited) or on the double yellow lines (3 hours).