Amateur Astronomy for Beginners

Camera Obscura closure

The Camera Obscura will be closed from 21 May until 25 May. The rest of the Royal Observatory and Meridian Line remain open.

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
31 October – 5 December | 20 February – 27 March | Tuesdays | 7.00–9.00pm
Royal Observatory, Planetarium & Astronomy Centre
Astronomy courses

From how to choose and use telescopes, to identifying targets and planning observing activities.

This course is designed for those interested in taking up astronomy as a hobby, and may be studied independently without prior knowledge. It is also an ideal follow on course for those who have attended Introduction to Astronomy.

With a strong focus on developing a solid observational understanding of the night sky and how it changes throughout the year, the course will also cover setting up and aligning telescopes. Other topics are: how to choose observing locations and plan observing sessions, amateur contribution to scientific research, and an introduction to astronomy photography.

Those attending the course should have access to a telescope outside of class time, so that they can practice what they have learned in class.

The course will run twice during the 2017-18 academic year, and was formerly known as Practical Astronomy for Beginners.

  • 31 October – 5 December
  • 20 February – 27 March

Tutor: Greg Smye-Rumsby.

Interested in astrophotography?

The world-class judges from our Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition give their advice on how to take up the hobby.

See all our astronomy courses