Astronomy for GCSE






It's December 2020 and I have been loaned a dog-eared copy of 'Astronomy for GCSE' by the late Patrick Moore (he didn't loan it to me, he wrote it). It was published in 1990, and while it was an update (according to the introduction) on his book for the old O-Level grade here in the UK, this one is probably out of date in some regard.

That being said, I had an interest in Astronomy during my childhood; I remember spending some evenings trying to learn the constellations (I think using a Ladybird book of them, in conjunction with a crappy toy telescope). Since then I furthered my casual interest when I took part in SETI@home (1999-2020) - the search for E.Ts. I continue this interest to this day by participating in Einstein@Home, which is all about gravity waves.

I was surprised to find this book; I had never heard there being GCSE Astronomy, only Physics, Chemistry and Biology (of which I took a combined exam).

So here is my chance to learn a bit more about what I missed out on. I'm not sure how far I'll get, since I tend to lose interest in things and get distracted by other projects, but for now I'll list the 22 chapters with the intention of working my way through them all and noting things of interest along the way. I'll likely get side-tracked and focus on particular things that intrigue me, but that's the advantage of not being in school/college and having to follow the curriculum to the letter, and keep up with the rest of the class!


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