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Well hello again,

Im new here (well kind of new) and Im really interested in Astronomical calculations, but I cant find the best possible way to learn them. I tried searching on the web read books but they are a bit to complicated for me. Have you got any ideas, recommendations? Even a small link to a webpage or something would help a lot.



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You might take a look at an oldish, but quite useful, 1972 book by E. A. Beet - Mathematical Astronomy for Amateurs. I don't know exactly if this is what you are looking for, but it was written for amateur astronomers with school maths but not PhDs.

You can download it in various formats at: https://archive.org/details/MathematicalAstronomyForAmateurs

Several universities (especially in the USA) make their courses available online - but these are simply audio recordings, videos or transcripts. No support or feedback is available. A selection is here: http://www.openculture.com/astronomy-free-online-courses

Coursera also runs online courses from universities worldwide - with several on astronomy. The courses are mainly free, although there is a charge if you want a pretty certificate. Most have an online forum for the duration of the course with feedback from other students and some more limited help from faculty. - I've taken a few and they can be very good. You can find a list of courses starting soon at https://www.coursera.org/courses?languages=en&query=astronomy

The above are serious but popular courses which don't need advanced maths as a prerequisite - but at the same time don't really teach much heavy maths either. This may be good or bad, depending on what you want.

The Open University also has a couple of free astronomy courses online, as well as a paid diploma (one or two years I think) but this may only be available to people resident in the UK.

There is also a GCSE A level school exam in astronomy (these exams are usually taken in British schools by teenagers preparing to enter university) and there may be distance learning packages available. It's quite a good syllabus, and enjoyable for "mature" students as well.

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  • 1 month later...

I came across this on Youtube.  it is a series of animated lectures on light and optics.  The presenter speaks rather quickly but you become used to it quite easily. Very helpful in understanding the properties of light through lenses and mirrors.

The series is lively, intuitive and entertaining. :smiley:


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  • 4 weeks later...

There is also this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Students-Guide-Mathematics-Astronomy-Daniel-Fleisch/1107610214 I have this book and it's very easy going with a good online resource.

And this place is a great place to browse if you want to gen up on your basics. http://www.teachastronomy.com/

And for undergraduate level. You'll need some calculus "An introduction to modern Astrophysics" http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?toolid=10029&campid=CAMPAIGNID&customid=CUSTOMID&catId=267&type=2&ext=381824474845&item=381824474845 A very comprehensive book that covers a lot of ground. I also have this and it's a pleasure to work through. Like I say, you'll need some calculus though. 

Edited by Maximidius
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