Once again I’m so bloomin’ tied up I can’t get to this – but others should know about it…
This has to be the most exciting GCSE course in the country – you get to study the stars in the most famous observatory in the world through one of the most famous telescopes in the world.
Just watching that giant domed roof opening slowly on a warm summer night and the giant refractor being slowly cajoled into line with, say, Saturn (the coolest planet in the heavens) is enough to send me into paroxysms of joy (yes I managed to get to see it once – just the once – it looked like someone had gone to the observatory shop, bought a kid’s mobile of Saturn and dangled it in front of the lens – so perfect I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.)
You get to learn about the seasons, the Moon, the planets, stars, meteorites, dark matter, the great historical astronomers such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton – you name it. And you get a qualification at the end of it. All for a measly £120, £90 if you’re eligible for concessions or a member of the friends of the National Maritime Museum (other museum friendship perks include free tea and coffee in the swanky members’ room at the Maritime Museum, and entry to exhibitions.)
Maybe next year….