​Astronomical Courses for Beginners

There are several free on-line courses available on the internet:

Crash Course Astronomy consists of 47 YouTube videos of about 12 min. each.
See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rHUDWjR5gg

Best Online Astronomy Courses for Beginners
See: https://nineplanets.org/beginner-astronomy-courses/

In March / April 2022 the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI)
organized an evening course "Introduction to Astronomy" (7 weeks, 14 hours)
The Video Recordings can be seen HERE.

Use Google to find more options.


What is a Light-Year

A light-year is the distance that light travels in empty space in one year.
Since the speed of light is about 300,000 km per second
(about 186,000 miles per second), a light-year is about
10,000,000,000,000 kilometers (about 6,000,000,000,000 miles).
In 1 second light would travel 7.5 times around the earth,
so image how far it would travel in 1 year.
​Our closest star Proxima Centauri is 4.3 light-years away from us.
​The Milky Way is more then 100,000 light-years wide


Smart phone Apps which show the night time Sky

There are several "stargazing" Apps which you can install on
your smart phone. (iPhone or Android)
When you point your phone to the sky it will show the stars/planets
in that area. Just do a search for "stargazing" in the Play/App
store and check the reviews.


Buying your first Telescope

​If you are new to Astronomy and thinking of buying your
own telescope you may be better off buying a pair of Binoculars.
Besides looking at the sky a pair of binoculars can also be used for
many other activities such as nature trips, bird watching, at sea etc.
Just Google "Best Astronomy Binoculars" and read the reviews.

As a rule of thumb, your telescope should have at least
2.8 inches (70 mm) aperture — and preferably more.
Dobsonian telescopes, which are reflectors with a simple mount,
provide lots of aperture at relatively low cost. A larger aperture lets
you see fainter objects and finer detail than a smaller one can.
Just Google "best telescope for beginners" and check the reviews.

You may also look at building your own telescope,
​Google "How to build a telescope"


Space Exploration

1957 Sputnik 1, First satellite in space from Russia
1958 Explorer 1, First satellite in space from the USA
1961 Vostok I, First manned flight from Russia carrying Yuri Gagarin
1962 N.A. X15, First manned flight from the USA carrying Robert White
1969 Apollo 11 First human on the Moon Neil Armstrong from the USA
1990 Voyager 1 First photo of the whole Solar System (by NASA USA)
202? First humans landing on planet Mars


International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest man made object in space.
It was built in pieces and then launched into space and assembled in orbit between
1998 and 2011. It has been continuously occupied since Nov. 2, 2000.
The space station flies at an average altitude of 248 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.
It circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 km/h) and
is visible from Earth with the naked eye.
As it is continuously "falling" around earth there is hardly any gravity (microgravity) and
the people in the station are always weightless.
The microgravity offers lots of possibilities for performing all kinds of scientific research.

There are many interesting YouTube video clips and web sites available, see:


Do a search at YouTube for "International Space Station"


Radio Astronomy 

A "normal" telescope uses light to make an object visible for us.
A radio telescope is simply a telescope that is designed to receive radio waves
from space. It uses one or more antennas to collect the incoming radio waves.
Most antennas are parabolic dishes that reflect the radio waves to a receiver,
like a TV satellite dish.
Radio telescopes can be used to measure the surface temperatures of the
planets, ​ they also give a better image of planets which are surrounded by
heavy ​clouds like Venus.
For more info visit : www.britannica.com/science/radio-telescope



There is no solid proof that Aliens ever visited the earth.
The closest planet, outside our solar system, is Proxima Centauri b.
This planet is more then 4 light-years away from us, it will take us
thousands of years to reach this planet with our current technology.
Although we have been listening to radio signals from space for several
decades we have never received any signal that looks like it is coming
from ​an intelligent life form. See: https://www.seti.org/about-us/mission

Watch the following YouTube video:


William Hrudey Caribbean Astronomy Conference 

In May 2018 CIAS hosted the
"William Hrudey Caribbean Astronomy Conference"
with ​participants from the USA and several Caribbean islands 


Use Google and YouTube to find out more
​ about any Astronomy subject.


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