Suitable for ages 18+

Essential Information

Type Courses
Date and Times Six-week courses held on Tuesday evenings | See page for full dates
Prices £96

An online version of our on-site Introduction to Astronomy course, perfect for those who cannot travel to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

This six-week course is for people with no prior knowledge of astronomy. It offers a basic introduction to the subject from historical, scientific, and practical perspectives, led by an engaging tutor from the Royal Observatory Greenwich: the home of time and space.

Everyone taking a course is also entitled to a 10% discount on books purchased from Royal Museums Greenwich - please check with your course tutor for more details!

It is an excellent standalone course, but can provide a stepping stone to other introductory courses, such as Amateur Astronomy for BeginnersIntroduction to Astrophysics and the online course Introduction to Astrophotography.

Age: 18+

Meet the tutor: Les Brand

Les is a part-time astronomer at the Royal Observatory and regularly delivers exciting and informative shows to schools and the public at the Peter Harrison Planetarium. He also delivers the ever-popular Evening with the Stars events, showing people the wonders of the night sky from the heart of London. He teaches introductory online courses on astronomy and astrophotography.   

Les has his own back garden observatory and owns several telescopes and cameras with which he battles London's light pollution and clouds! He was an advisor on recent BBC series Universe where he showed it was possible to capture an image of a distant galaxy from Canary Wharf. Les is a committee member of his local astronomical society and as a STEM ambassador regularly gives talks to schools and leads the young astronomers club.

A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and lifelong learner, his knowledge of astronomy and astrophotography is largely self-taught and he will soon complete a masters degree in astrophysics.

An image for 'Meet the tutor: Les Brand'

When do courses run?

Courses take place on Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm and run for six weeks in total. The full dates for the 2024/25 academic year are below; when making your booking, simply select the start date of the course you'd like to join in the calendar:

  • 17 September - 22 October 2024
  • 22 April - 27 May 2025

Note: This course will be held online via Zoom. This course is ideal for learners who are not within commutable distance to London or cannot travel to Greenwich. Sessions will be recorded. Students should request access to a recorded session if they are unable to attend.

Public astronomy at the Royal Observatory

Learn all about our programme of events, including daytime observing sessions, evening lates, talks, community astronomy shows, film screenings in the planetarium, astronomy courses and more

Main image: Cassiopeia A by James Webb, Image credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI; IR: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/Milisavljevic et al., NASA/JPL/CalTech; Image Processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/J. Schmidt and K. Arcand