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Astronomy is the study of the 'heavenly bodies'. It is the oldest of the sciences. The ancients looked up at the night sky and saw much the same view as we do now. They saw patterns in the stars and gave these patterns names that we use to the present day. They noticed that most stars appear to revolve on a huge celestial sphere but that some moved quite differently. These they called wandering stars or the planets. Until the 17th Century it was believed that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. It was in this century that Galileo turned his telescope to the heavens and saw a miniature model for the Solar System in Jupiter with its orbiting satellites. This was the most significant moment in the history of observational astronomy.  A key to understanding our place in the Universe was discovered by looking outwards and applying what was seen to our own position....

So the Guide starts and takes you on a fantastic journey through all the key concepts of modern astronomical thinking. With hundreds of animations including: how the Sun radiates...

How stars evolve…

Galaxies..

The guide is liberally scattered with exercises.  Where Physics is used it is what I call 'Beer-mat Physics'. This is Physics that  can and is best done on a beer=mat. That is it's sufficiently concise to fit.  The slightly controversial philosophy of Beer-mat Physics is that if a calculation or a proof is too long to fit on a beer-mat then it's not worth knowing, life is just too short. Perversely, as much time as necessary can be usefully spent reducing long tortuous proofs or calculations so that they then will fit on a beer-mat.The dedicated beer-mat physicist reserves the right to  regard all physics that does not fit onto a beer-mat with suspicion. Beer-mats  are used to solve problems and prove theorems throughout the course...