The course aims to cover basic knowledge in astronomy and astrophysics, to teach skills of operating simple telescopes and navigating through the sky’s constellations and cycles, and to give the students the ability to conduct guided telescopic activities for the general public. Attending lessons of telescope operation is mandatory.
1 Revolutions in space science from Copernicus to modern times.
2 The night sky: coordinate systems, periods, Earth’s spin axis, brightness scale, colors, atmospheric and other disturbances, Zodiac constellations.
3 Eclipses, transits and occultations.
4 Telescopes: optical principles, types, parameters, how to operate.
5 Field observations 1: operating telescopes, identifying celestial bodies.
6 Field observations 2: operating telescopes, identifying celestial bodies.
7 Moon & Sun – parameters, phases, periods, formation, structure, craters, spots, activity, exploration.
8 The Solar System – planets, satellites, scale, formation and exploration.
9 Small bodies: asteroids, comets, meteors and showers.
10 Exoplanets and life in the Universe – Fermi paradox, Drake equation, exoplanets discovery and variation, potential locations for life in our Solar System.
11 Outer space: stars, astronomical parameters, classification, stellar evolution from birth to death.
12 Outer space: Messier catalog, clusters, nebulae, galaxies.
13 The astronomy distance scale: parallax, standard candles.
14 Cosmology – The Olbers paradox, Cosmological principal, expanding universe, Hubble law, background cosmic radiation, the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy, the fate of the Universe.