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News about our courses, and from the astronomers who teach them. We report on our research results, and let you know about new developments.


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Image of Astrofest Quiz 2017 - title page

Astrofest Quiz 2017 - Winners, Questions and Answers

14th February 2017

We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's ever-popular UCLan Astrofest 2017 Quiz held 10-11 February 2017 in Kensington Town Hall.

  • Friday joint winners of main prize:
    Michael Morris from London and Stuart Anderson from Worcester
  • Saturday winner of main prize: Katie Grocott Murdoch from London
  • Junior Prize: Amy from Chesham


Applications for 2017/18 Open February 2017

14th February 2017

If you are a new student wishing to study one of our courses for September 2017 start, please have a look at the description of our Entry Points and decide what you want to study.


Astroquiz 2016 titlepage

Astrofest Quiz 2016 - Winners, Questions and Answers

11th February 2016

Over 150 visitors tried their hand at the UCLan Astronomy Quiz at Astrofest 2016. The main prize winners were: Kevin Pretorius from Surrey (Friday) and joint winners (Saturday) Andy Turner from Cheadle Hulme and Philip Hall from Kensington. The winners of the junior prizes were Gemma from Harrow (Friday) and Alex from Bedford (Saturday).


UCLan at European Astrofest 5-6 February 2016

29th January 2016

UCLan will be visiting European Astrofest again this year.

This year the UCLan stand will be in the same location as last year - on the upper floor - just to the left as you come upstairs from the Great Hall. Don't miss us!


Applications for 2016/17 Open 1 February 2016

29th January 2016

If you are a new student wishing to study one of our courses for October 2016 start, please have a look at the description of our Entry Points and decide what you want to study.


Module Availability for 2016/17 till 2018/19

29th January 2016

The module availability has now been updated for start of courses Oct 2016 with a look ahead until 2018/19. See Module Availability page for details.


Start of Courses 14-16 October 2015

16th October 2015

This year's courses started on 14-16 October 2015. induction materials were released on Blackboard about 2 weeks before that.


photo of student and post

Astronomy DL students win runners' up prize in University Intern Poster Competition

8th October 2015

David Glass and Richard Rae, two current JHI Astronomy Distance Learning undergraduate students, were awarded runners-up prizes in the University Intern Poster Competition held on October 8th.


Module Prizes for 2014/15

29th June 2015

Each year the students obtaining the highest marks in the most popular entry level modules are awarded a prize.


Astrofest Quiz 2015 title page

Astrofest Quiz 2015 - Winners, Questions and Answers.

10th February 2015

Over 200 visitors tried their hand at the UCLan Astronomy Quiz at Astrofest 2015. The main prize winners were: Hugh Allen form Somerset(Friday), and Kevin Pretorius from Surrey (Saturday). The winners of the junior prizes were Matthew from Harrow (Friday) and Caleb from London (Saturday).


Applications for 2015/16 opened 2 February 2015

2nd February 2015

Applications for the courses for 2015/16 are now open.


UCLan visits European Astrofest - 6-7 February 2015

6th January 2015

UCLan will be visiting Europaen Astrofest again this year.

This year the UCLan stand will have a new location - on the upper floor - just to the left as you come upstairs from the Great Hall. Don't miss us!


Start of Courses 15-17 October 2014

9th October 2014

The courses will be starting in the next few days - 15-17 October. The exact start date depends on the module.


Applications Deadline for October 2014 courses

15th September 2014

The main deadline (31 August 2014) for applications for October 2014 has now passed.

However late applications received between 1 September 2014 and 15 September 2014 will still be considered for October 2014.


Module Prizes for 2013/14

22nd July 2014

Each year the students obtaining the highest marks in the most popular entry level modules are awarded a prize.


Astrofest 2014 Quiz Titlepage

Astrofest Quiz 2014 - Winners - Questions and Answers

11th February 2014

Over 250 visitors tried their hand at the UCLan Astronomy Quiz at Astrofest 2014.

The main prize winners were:

T Law from Middlesex(Friday), and Martyn Filsak from Stourbridge (Saturday).

The winners of the junior prizes were Danny from Hereford (Friday) and Rebecca from Tyne and Wear (Saturday).


Module Availability Oct 2014

Module Availability and Fees for 2014/15

1st February 2014

The module availability has now been updated for start of courses Oct 2014 with a look ahead until 2016/17. See Module Availability page for details. The module fees for 2014/15 Astronomy Distance Learning Courses have now been approved for next year. We are please to say that we have been able to keep them down to comparable to last year.


UCLan Sun at Night on Stargazing Live

9th January 2014

The Sun at Night Project is being featured at BBC StarGazing Live on 9 January


Distance Learning Courses Started 16-18 October 2013.

19th October 2013

The new academic year has now started for the Astronomy Distance Learning course, and all fully enrolled students should have access to the learning materials on UCLan's Elearn Server.


Module Prizes for 2012/13

24th June 2013

Each year the students obtaining the highest marks in the most popular entry level modules are awarded a prize.


Far-infrared image of the Galactic nucleus

Distance Learning Astronomy Graduate publishes on Distance Scale

1st June 2013

Nigel Clayton, who graduated with a first class BSc (Hons) Astronomy in June 2012 has now published a write-up of his Astronomy Dissertation in Volume 6.1 of Diffusion, UCLan's undergraduate resarch journal. The paper is entitled "Determination of the distance to the Galactic centre"


Image of solar prominence eruption

UCLan research to protect astronauts

17th May 2013

Our very own Silvia Dalla, known to many of you as Distance Learning Course Leader until September 2013 and Mike Marsh recently published work on solar flares. They have developed a method of tracking solar flare radiation that can be used to warn International Space Station astronauts if harmful radiation is heading their way.


Date, venue, UCLan

Astrofest Quiz 2013 - The quiz, the answers and the winners.

12th February 2013

Over 250 visitors tried their hand at the Astronomy Quiz at Astrofest 2013.

The main prize winners were:

Lee Banwell from Croydon (Friday), and J Salmon from Kensington (Saturday).

The winners of the junior prizes were Nina from Surrey (Friday) and Gwenedd from Harrow (Saturday).


Screen shot of module availability page

Modules Availability and Fees for 2013/14

2nd February 2013

The module availability has now been updated for start of courses Oct 2013 with a look ahead until 2015/16. See Module Availability page for details. The module fees for 2013/14 Astronomy Distance Learning Courses have now been approved for next year. We are please to say that we have been able to keep them down to comparable to last year for most students.


Schematic diagram of structures

UClan Astronomers discover largest structure in the Universe

2nd February 2013

An international team of astronomers, led by academics from the University of Central Lancashire, has found the largest known structure in the universe. The large quasar group (LQG) is so large that it would take a vehicle travelling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it. The team publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Draft Module Schedules for 2012/13

4th October 2012

Draft module schedules for 2012/13 are now available for the modules starting in October 2012.

They are linked under 'Draft Schedule' for each entry on the 'View all Modules' page.

They show provisional Course Work deadlines and on-line classroom dates.


Start of Course 15 October 2012

2nd October 2012

This year's courses will all be starting on the 15th October 2012.

If you have been asked to enrol online, please ensure that you have completed on-line enrollment. This will enable you to see your list of modules when they become available to students on Blackboard on approximately the 15th October 2012. See Current Students' tab for updates.

Please will any one who has received a payment request but not yet paid do so as quickly as you can as this enables the enrollment process to get started.

Over the next few days we will post additional news.


Solar observing

Alston Observatory Weekend 2012

14th March 2012

The annual Alston Observatory weekend took place on February 17-19 2012. Students enjoyed the astronomy activities, observing, talks and interaction with other students and Course Team staff.


Water on the Moon

Invited public talk by BSc student

11th March 2012

One of the students on our BSc (Hons) in Astronomy has been invited to give a series of talks to the Newcastle Astronomical Society.


Astroquiz winner (Friday)

AstroQuiz 2012 - the answers!

16th February 2012

A copy of the Astroquiz we took to Astrofest in London, and the names of this year's winners!


Applications for Oct 2012 start are now open

4th February 2012

Applications are now open for new students wishing to apply for one of our Distance Learning courses for October 2012 start.


Alston weekend 2011

4th March 2011

The annual Alston Observatory weekend took place on February 25-27 2011. Students enjoyed the astronomy activities, observing, talks and interaction with other students and Course Team staff.


Astrofest Quiz - the answers!

10th February 2011

A copy of the Astroquiz we took to Astrofest in London.


Applications for 2011 start are now open

1st February 2011

Applications are now open for new students wishing to apply for one of our Distance Learning courses for October 2011 start.


Stargazing Live events at UCLan

6th January 2011

The University of Central Lancashire will host two Stargazing Live events in January 2011.



First graduates of BSc in Astronomy

3rd December 2010

Two distance learning students were awarded their BSc (Hons) in Astronomy at a Graduation Ceremony in Preston.


Results now available and prizewinners

30th June 2010

Results for all our courses have been released and prizewinners for our entry point courses announced


Alston Observatory weekend 2010

22nd March 2010

The annual Alston Observatory weekend took place on March 12-14 2010. Despite the overcast weather, students enjoyed the astronomy activities, talks and interaction with other students and Course Team staff.


Applications for 2010 start are now open

2nd February 2010

Applications are now open for new students wishing to apply for one of our Distance Learning courses for October 2010 start.


UCLan Astronomer on the Jodcast - January 2010

31st January 2010

On a recent research visit to the University of Manchester, Dr Stewart Eyres took some time out to give and interview to Dr Tim O'Brien for inclusion in the January 2010 Extra Jodcast. He spoke to Tim about the fascinating born-again giant star Sakurai's object, ranging over stellar evolution, planetary nebulae, white dwarfs and the contribution amateur astronomers can make to modern science.


Induction for courses starting 2009 October

9th October 2009

Our courses commence during the week beginning the 12th October. We will be releasing materials via WebCT, sending out induction packs and beginning the process of tutoring students. See the Current Students link on this website to check on progress of the induction process for your module, and to troubleshoot any problems you may encounter.


Astrophysics students in South Africa

17th July 2009

Three astrophysics degree students have recently returned from a trip to South Africa, where the University has invested in the Southern African Large Telescope. As well as touring SALT, they carried out observations on research-class telescopes, visited amazing and historic sites around South Africa and spoke to children in a number of schools.


Prize Winners 2009

26th June 2009

Results Day for the Distance Learning Courses is Friday 26th June 2009. Congratulations to all our students who have successfully completed their modules. Special congratulations go to our Prizewinners for 2009.


Part-time PhD bursary at UCLan - new date

26th May 2009

Modelling chemical evolution in Elliptical Galaxies and Spiral Bulges: UCLan is funding a number of Part-Time PhD places through the Arnoux bursary scheme. One of these is available within the Extragalactic Astrophysics group, in the subject area of understanding stellar populations in galaxies. The student will work at UCLan's main campus in Preston.


Jeremiah Horrocks Institute launch

21st February 2009

The Centre for Astrophysics will transform into the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Astrophysics and Supercomputing (JHI for short) over the course of 2009. This new institute draws in researchers making use of high-performance computing in areas as diverse as soft matter physics, bioinformatics and the structure of galaxies.


Astronomy research success at UCLan

21st January 2009

The astrophysics research at UCLan has come out well from the recent government assessment, with a large fraction of our work judged to be of international standing.


The Universe is twice as bright as we thought!

21st July 2008

Astronomers from UK Universities, including UCLan, working with colleagues from Germany and Australia have calculated that the Universe is actually twice as bright as previously thought. In the latest Astrophysical Journal Letters (10th May), the astronomers describe how dust is obscuring approximately half of the light that the Universe is currently generating.


Invisible sunspots uncovered with Astrogrid

20th July 2008

A team of scientists led by Silvia Dalla, of the Centre for Astrophysics, have discovered that 44 percent of new sunspots forming in the West of the Sun are invisible to our best telescopes. They analysed nearly 7,000 sunspots that were observed over a 25 year period and found some areas of the Sun's disk are missing new sunspots compared to others.