I need material to help me revise Astrophysics...cause it aint' a GCSE Watch

Thidical
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
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Hey peeps,
I'm Callum; a 13 year old lad from Cheshire/Manchester-ish area. I currently live in Kent and go to a grammar school. I am a very privileged guy, as in the North of England there aren't many, if any, grammar schools, and to get the opportunity to move down here was great. Anyway....

If you'd looked at my profile, you'd know that I aspire to become an Astrophysicist. And undoubtedly, I am gonna have to work freakin' hard to get there. But, I will stop at nothing.

I currently own an Orion AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope; of which isn't the fanciest of telescopes, but its still great . Usually, at night, I just go outside and privately watch some stars, planets, nebulae if they are there, and Andromeda, cause Andromeda is ALWAYS there lol.

However in my times of looking at the sky, I haven't really done anything useful with it. I mean, sure, I can recognize general constellations, but I don't note anything down or what-have-you...cause the internet decides to ruin it for me by telling me. :mad:

I was hoping you TSRians or whatever we are (cant remember sorry), could help me out here. If you want to take a look at my current grades, I'll paste 'em below:


Mathematics - Level 7b (B Grade)
[COMPULSORY]

English - Level 7c (B Grade)
[COMPULSORY]

Physics - A Grade
[COMPULSORY]

Chemistry - A Grade
[COMPULSORY]

Biology - A* Grade (Strangest grade of them all)
[COMPULSORY]

Computing - Level 7b (B Grade)
[GCSE OPTION 1]

French - Level 5a (D Grade)
[TO BE DROPPED]

Geography - Level 6a (Strong C Grade)
[HUMANITIES OPTION]

German - Level 6a/7c (Strong C / B Grade)
[LANGUAGE TO BE TOOK FOR GCSE]

History - Level 7b (B Grade)
[2ND HUMANITIES OPTION / 2ND OPTION]

Music - Level 6c (C Grade)
[TO BE DROPPED]

PE - Level 6b (C Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]

Religious Studies - Level 6b (C Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]

Design and Technology - Level 6a (C Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]

Drama - Level 5a (D Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]


They are alright in my opinion, for a Year 9 at least, but of course there is definitely always room for improvement.

Now, I understand that Astronomy isn't a GCSE, you get it at A-Level or something, and I've been told that GCSE Physics doesn't really cover a lot about space, so I wanted to know if you peeps could find me some genuinely useful material; of which I can revise stuff so I can develop my knowledge of Astrophysics further, rather than just looking at the stars and going: Oh look...Andromeda...you are there again.

I would ideally hope for some kinda textbook, even if it is not GCSE but A-Level stuff, I don't mind. I learn like a sponge: information goes in, but doesn't go in...unless you squeeze me to death...

And before ya'll go tell me to read Brian Cox's big book thing with algebra and equations only himself or Einstein would understand, please understand that I am 13 and I need to be able to understand it .

Thank-you for your help,

Callum.
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Lau14
Badges: 11
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#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
(Original post by Thidical)
Hey peeps,
I'm Callum; a 13 year old lad from Cheshire/Manchester-ish area. I currently live in Kent and go to a grammar school. I am a very privileged guy, as in the North of England there aren't many, if any, grammar schools, and to get the opportunity to move down here was great. Anyway....

If you'd looked at my profile, you'd know that I aspire to become an Astrophysicist. And undoubtedly, I am gonna have to work freakin' hard to get there. But, I will stop at nothing.

I currently own an Orion AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope; of which isn't the fanciest of telescopes, but its still great . Usually, at night, I just go outside and privately watch some stars, planets, nebulae if they are there, and Andromeda, cause Andromeda is ALWAYS there lol.

However in my times of looking at the sky, I haven't really done anything useful with it. I mean, sure, I can recognize general constellations, but I don't note anything down or what-have-you...cause the internet decides to ruin it for me by telling me. :mad:

I was hoping you TSRians or whatever we are (cant remember sorry), could help me out here. If you want to take a look at my current grades, I'll paste 'em below:


Mathematics - Level 7b (B Grade)
[COMPULSORY]

English - Level 7c (B Grade)
[COMPULSORY]

Physics - A Grade
[COMPULSORY]

Chemistry - A Grade
[COMPULSORY]

Biology - A* Grade (Strangest grade of them all)
[COMPULSORY]

Computing - Level 7b (B Grade)
[GCSE OPTION 1]

French - Level 5a (D Grade)
[TO BE DROPPED]

Geography - Level 6a (Strong C Grade)
[HUMANITIES OPTION]

German - Level 6a/7c (Strong C / B Grade)
[LANGUAGE TO BE TOOK FOR GCSE]

History - Level 7b (B Grade)
[2ND HUMANITIES OPTION / 2ND OPTION]

Music - Level 6c (C Grade)
[TO BE DROPPED]

PE - Level 6b (C Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]

Religious Studies - Level 6b (C Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]

Design and Technology - Level 6a (C Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]

Drama - Level 5a (D Grade)
[COMPULSORY BUT NO GCSE EXAM NEEDED]


They are alright in my opinion, for a Year 9 at least, but of course there is definitely always room for improvement.

Now, I understand that Astronomy isn't a GCSE, you get it at A-Level or something, and I've been told that GCSE Physics doesn't really cover a lot about space, so I wanted to know if you peeps could find me some genuinely useful material; of which I can revise stuff so I can develop my knowledge of Astrophysics further, rather than just looking at the stars and going: Oh look...Andromeda...you are there again.

I would ideally hope for some kinda textbook, even if it is not GCSE but A-Level stuff, I don't mind. I learn like a sponge: information goes in, but doesn't go in...unless you squeeze me to death...

And before ya'll go tell me to read Brian Cox's big book thing with algebra and equations only himself or Einstein would understand, please understand that I am 13 and I need to be able to understand it .

Thank-you for your help,

Callum.
There is in fact an Astronomy GCSE (Edexcel, I'm not sure about other exam boards), however it isn't very commonly offered at schools (we were able to do it after the school day). This website covers the whole thing, but bear in mind that very little of the astronomy GCSE/none of the astronomy unit at A level has anything to do with observing. It's the closest thing we had to a textbook!

(Also, have you tried looking at the Moon through a telescope? It shows up huge amounts of detail).
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Thidical
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#3
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by Lau14)
There is in fact an Astronomy GCSE (Edexcel, I'm not sure about other exam boards), however it isn't very commonly offered at schools (we were able to do it after the school day). This website covers the whole thing, but bear in mind that very little of the astronomy GCSE/none of the astronomy unit at A level has anything to do with observing. It's the closest thing we had to a textbook!

(Also, have you tried looking at the Moon through a telescope? It shows up huge amounts of detail).
Thank you Lau14, I will be having a look on that website.

I have seen the moon multiple times, and I have to admit, when my telescope gets to optimum focus, it does indeed look beautiful .
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starry_n3bula
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Hi,

Wikipedia has an amazing amount of information on lots of different astronomy topics and has the advantage its both free to read and if you don't understand something the anwser is just a click away. Good place to start is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy and then just progress on from there.

Another good place to start is the monthly astronomy magazines such as 'Astronomy Now' each issue covers new discoverys, some basic concepts and lots of good picys. For more astrophysics/cosmology topics 'New Scientist' can be good but it will include other science topics from e.g. biology and chemistry in each issue and you may sometimes find it abit difficult to grasp some topics.

Many books which are written for the general public introduce topics and don't assume you know calculus, with good illustrations and verbal explanations. Off the top of my head 'A Briefer History of Time' by Stephen Hawking and 'How to Build a Universe' by Ben Gilliand may be worth a look at, and should be avilable to borrow from libraries so no need to purchase. Places like waterstones are great for finding astronomy books as they have a large range ranging from absolute beginner to docorate level textbooks, so I reccommend you go along and have a flick through them to see which you would most likley to enjoy/understand. They also have A5 books titled 'Astronomy' etc for abotu £5 which are great little reads I was reading about your age :-)

P.S. Have you heard of Galaxy Zoo? (http://www.galaxyzoo.org/) Its an online poject where the general public helps astrophysicists classify astronomy pictures (i.e. is it a galaxy, star or something else? What type of galaxy is it?). The same people have also set up similar 'Help us identify this!' websites for Sun activity, exoplanets, stars, Mars etc (https://www.zooniverse.org/#space) You can sign up to any/all for free and theres an online tutorial, then you can get started! :-)
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