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New Astronomy Course At Derby College

  • Date: 09/09/2011
  • Category: General

Derby College has joined forces with renowned astronomer Dave Buttery to launch a new course at The Roundhouse – designed to inspire people to become avid star gazers.

Dave, from Belper, who is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and has worked with a wide range of professionals including the Hubble Telescope team, will be starting a series of six-week evening courses on November 1 with further courses starting throughout the academic year.

He said: “An increasing number of people are interested in the skies – probably with the popularity of television shows by Brian Cox who, like myself, enjoys communicating about science and making what can be a complicated subject really quite simple.

“Having worked in schools for many years and with fellow Astronomers throughout the world, I am really looking forward to sharing my passion with people on the course.

“Astronomy is a free hobby – all you need are you eyes and the best time to star gaze is between November and June so the timings of the course are ideal.

“The sky is effectively a road map and once you know key things, you can then learn so much more about the universe. 

“Astronomy is a fascinating subject and more than just what we can see.  For instance, there are strict rules about how new discoveries are named.  You can name a comet after yourself but not an asteroid.  Also, planets and their moons are named for specific reasons including the moons of Uranus who are named after the fairies in Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

“The beginners course is designed to give people a brief history on the subject and show them what is in the skies and then to inspire them to develop their interest further by pointing them in the right direction for equipment and the information that is available to them.”

The Astronomy course is part of a new community programme launched by the College with a wide range of evening and one day masterclasses.

Derby College Director of Enterprise and Innovation Louise Curd said: “I am delighted that Dave has come on board to lead this new and fascinating course at the College.

“It is a fascinating subject and one which I hope will ignite people’s passion both for appreciating what is around us in the night sky but also for learning and realising just how empowering it is to come back into education – for whatever reason.”

For more information on this and all the community courses available at Derby College, please call 0800 028 0289 or visit


Media enquiries:Sarah Jenkin-Jones, PR Officer, Derby College, Tel: 07951 945 665;

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