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I2AO - Introduction to Astronomy Online

Publications | Universe Magazine | Articles by Members and Constellation of the Month | Introduction to Astronomy Online (I2AO) 

Authors: This online course has been developed by Lesa Moore, BSc, MPhil (aka Starrylady), life member of the ASNSW, Macquarie University astronomy graduate and specialist in public outreach. Some sections have been contributed by Dr Ian Kemp, astrophysicist at ICRAR (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research) in Western Australia. The target readership is beginners of any age.  Please direct any enquiries or send feedback to Lesa

Content: Whilst it is true that, these days, it is a simple task to look anything up on the internet, you need to know what it is you are looking for! The aim of this online course is to give you an overview of a broad range of astronomy topics and describe phenomena with the right terminology to allow you to further investigate any aspects that particularly interest you. The online course is based on original classroom offerings and, generally speaking, each part was covered in a two-hour session. The material offered here includes somewhat more detail, but you can set your own pace and there is no test at the end!

Status: These online modules are under development. Those with links are available now. You may also browse the appendix of "Courses and Resources".


History: Astronomy through the Ages - Prehistory to ancient Greece and Rome | Middle Ages to the The Scientific Revolution (1300 - 1704) | 18th and 19th Centuries | Twentieth Century | C21st and Afterword

Part 1: Astronomy Basics (

Part 2: Time, Distance, Magnitude and Naming of Celestial Bodies (

Part 3: Galaxies and the Milky Way (

Part 4: The Celestial Sphere and Observing the Southern Sky (

Part 5: Observing Planets of the Solar System (

Part 6: Catalogues and Planning an Observing Session (

Part 7: Earth, Sun and Moon (

Part 8a: The Solar System (

Part 8b: Moons of the Solar System (

Part 8c: Spacecraft (for Exploration of the Solar System and Beyond) (

Part 9: Extrasolar Planets

Part 10: Optical Telescopes

Part 11: Stellar Evolution and Classification

Part 12: Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Part 13: Other Astronomies (Gravitational Waves and Neutrinos)

Part 14: Cosmology

Part 15: Optics

Part 16: Physics of Space Travel

Part 17: Relativity

Part 18: Astrobiology

Appendix: Courses and Resources (

Where to Next? After you have digested these modules, consider that astronomy is a life-long hobby and it is hoped that this set of web pages will inspire you to further your hobby by observing, reading, researching, listening and participating when such opportunities present themselves.

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