Tag Archives: Astronomy

Sent Open University an E-Mail to withdraw from S283 Planetary Science

So it’s now done, I have sent an E-Mail to the Open University to withdraw from S283 Planetary Science. I have known for week that it would be happening but with TMA03 due next week I thought I should sort it out now. Having talked it over with student support last month, they felt the same as me, that its better to delay and try and get a higher result than just scraping through this year. So now I’m quickly downloading all the book and weekly activity PDF’s so that I can still work at my own pace for starting again next year. Should have really done that before contacting them !!!

Open University Transitional fees:

I know some of you including Phil from philwadner.wordpress.com have mentioned about what could happen with my fees with withdrawing from the course. For me that isn’t a problem as I’m based in Northern Ireland and for the time being I’m still under the old Open University fee system. So hopefully I will be back up and running well before any changes happen.

On a happier note:

I have moved house in the last few weeks and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t done a blog post on a while. We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a nice big 4 bedroom house with big garden for Josh and the new baby to enjoy in the summer.

Also the garden is very dark with no nasty street lights and a good view of the sky so the telescope should be getting a good bit of use over the next few years, or I may have to treat myself to a new one like this Sky-Watcher Skyliner 300P ,  but only if Lisa allows me !!! I think I will have to be very very nice to her.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Random Things, S283: Planetary science

Were having a baby !!!!

Again sorry for the lack of posts but the last few months have been a little nuts. Top of the nuts list is were having another baby !! :)

We found out in October and told everyone just before christmas and its going to mean a lot of changes. One of the big things that will happen this year is we will both be scaling back on our study, (Lisa has just started a psychology degree with the OU) so even though I had planned to do S282 Astronomy in February, that wont be happening now. On the plus side, delaying it by a year wont have any effect on the end date of my degree so it’s not to big a deal.

So for the rest of this year I will be doingS283 Planetary science ending in June, and GCSE English ending in May. Then fingers crossed the baby will be popping out end of June and that will give me 7 or 8 months without any study and plenty of time for the sleepless nights :)

As for S155 Scientific investigation, that’s all finished and im very confident I have passes. I will post a full report on it today and im sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with my opinions on it. It felt like a Marmite course people either loved it or hated it.

Leave a Comment

Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science

Been very busy these last few weeks …….. but not with study.

So its been a week or so since I have done an update on the blog and for good reason…… I have been doing bugger all study. It’s mainly due to 2 reasons, firstly, I have been working flat-out with work. We have been doing a lot of website work etc and I want to get it all done before S151 starts in October. So im putting all my efforts into getting that finished off so that I don’t have to work on it later. Secondly, even though I was planning to get a head start on S282, I have found it very hard to get motivated. I think its due to there being no time limits etc. For some reason I seem to work better when I know, for example that in 10 days I have so submit a TMA, this gives me a target I can’t miss where as at the min with my self-made calender there is no targets or deadlines. I don’t like the fact that I can’t get motivated without the targets but sure nothing can be done about it.

On another note, my material for S151 should be getting posted at the end of next week so starting to look forward to receiving them and looking through whats in store :)


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S155: Scientific investigations, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science

S283: Planetary Science Facebook group

With S283 starting in a few months I did a quick search and found the Facebook group for it here OU S283: Planetary Science, I have also became an administrator for it so we need to get as many people as possible to join up.  It’s not as busy looking as the S104 group but it’s still got some posters on it and the number will probably increase when the course starts. So if your on Facebook and studying S283 in Nov 2011 I would say join up !!!


Filed under S283: Planetary science

Details for SXP288 – Practical science: physics and astronomy have been released

Details for the new SXP288 have finally been released and things are looking good !!

After thinking that with SXR208 Observing the Universe ending there would be no chance of going to the observatory in Mallorca. Well its been included as an option in the new SXP288 course :)

So SXP288 is a 30pt course starting in February’s and there is three different options:

Option A

  • Astronomy: robotic telescope (non-residential activity)
  • Formation and habitability of planets (non-residential activity)

Option B

  • Remote observation (non-residential activity)
  • Astronomy: Mallorca (residential school – subject to available places).

Option C

  • Remote observation (non-residential activity)
  • Formation and habitability of planets (non-residential activity)

There is also two other parts that all the options cover and these are

  • Probing the electron
  • NMR: molecules and imaging

More details can be found here on the SXP288 module page.

Obviously the one I will be going for is Option B and I have looked in to my schedule for the next 2 years, and even though I would love to do it in 2012 I think its best to wait untill the next year. I have two reasons for this, firstly, to do it in 2012 would mean doing it alongside S282 Astronomy and S283 Planetary science, this would be on overlap of 90pts for about 5 months. After trying it last year with S104 and S282 and not working out I think it would be silly to try it again. Secondly, since this is the presentation of it there may be some problem to iron out. I remember reading last year from students doing S155 and saying there was a few teething problems with the first presentation. So with both of those reason it looks like 2013 for me.

Leave a Comment

Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, SXP288: Practical science

Degree updates for B64 Natural Sciences from the Open University

After months of waiting the Open University have finally published the recommended degree routes for the B64 BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences.

Firstly the degree routes they have given out are

  • Astronomy and Planetary Science
  • Biology and Health Science
  • Chemistry and Analytical Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Science

Obviously these are just recommended routes and we can make it up from any of the S code courses but, the Astronomy and Planetary Science is the way I will be going. So I now have a list of my courses and finally worked out what I should be doing for the maths parts of the course. My new route is now :

  • S151: Maths for Science, 10pt (Compleated)
  • S196: Planets, 10pt (Compleated, should have been S154)
  • S104: Exploring Science, 60pt (Compleated)
  • S155: Scientific Investigation, 10pt (Starting Oct’11)
  • S283: Planetary Science and the search for life, 30pt (Starting Nov’11)
  • S282: Astronomy, 30pt (starting Feb’12)
  • SXP288: Practical Science Physics and Astronomy, 30pt
  • MST209: Mathematical methods and models, 60pt
  • S382: Astrophysics, 30pt
  • S383: The Relativistic Universe, 30pt
  • SMT359: Electromagnetism, 30pt
  • SXP390: Science Project Radiation and Matter, 30pt

So it’s all as easy as that (I wish), as it stands I have currently compleated 80 pts and will have compleated another 70 pts by the end of oct’12.

As for the courses, it was pretty much what I had expected to be doing, but it’s just nice to get confirmation of what I should be aiming for. There’s a possibility of doing SXP288 Practical Science Physics and Astronomy in 2012 but it will mean me doing 90pts at one go for about 4-5 months and im thinking that would just be silly as i found out at the start of this year.

The only downside to not doing the course in 2012 is that it will delay getting my degree by another year, unless I can add the extra 30pt into one of the following years.

hhhhmmm, decisions decisions….


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S104: Exploring Science, S151: Maths for Science, S155: Scientific investigations, S196: Planets an Introduction, S282: Astronomy, S283: Planetary science, SXP288: Practical science

Ok the reason for no recent posts.

So its been 3 months since my last post, and the reason, I took on too much. With the start of S282 Astronomy and the S104 Exploring Science I was doing 90 points while working and training for a marathon. So unfortunately something had to give, and it had to be the blog.

Now a few months later I have just submitted my last bit of work for S104 I will give a full rundown of it in the next day or so, but lets just say it was hard work. Doing S282 at the same time just proved to much.

With a TMA for S104 and TMA for S282 due within a few days during March the workload was just too much. I seen on a message board that if you pull out of a course in the early stages you can get discount on it if you take it within 12 months.  So I was able to withdraw from S282 with a 60% discount. It was for the best in the long run. I would have gotten a low mark for both courses. It wouldn’t really have mattered for S104 as level 1’s don’t count towards the degree classification, but S282 would and I want to get as high as possible on them.

As it stands at the minute, S104 has just ended and im planning to do S282 again in Feb 2011, however as I still have all the books and managed to download TMA’s and online tasks, I should be able to have a good head start for when it starts.

So in the next few days I will tell yous about S104, a little bit of S282 and what I plan to do next.

Oh and also I had to pull out of the marathon :( old age was catching up and my knees just couldn’t take the pace.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S104: Exploring Science, S282: Astronomy

Registered for S282 Astronomy

I have registered and received my materials for my next course, S282 Astronomy.  First impression is, fewer books than S104 and less workload. I have 2 books that I will give more details on when I start the course and a CD. Looking at the study planner workload is manageable. Chapter 1 is 40 ish pages long and this and 2 activities are the first 2 weeks work. The course starts on the 5th Feb so I have to get caught up with S104 and get my TMA4 in before it kicks off. It may be a busy few months with both going side by side but as long as I stay on course with the study planners I should be fine, fingers crossed.

Leave a Comment

Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S282: Astronomy

Starting S282 Astronomy in February

I was looking at my study planner just before Christmas and decided, if I could squeeze in an extra course before October’s start dates I can bring my whole degree forward by 8 -12 months due to the wat dates fall.  So I had a look and seen that I was able to register for S282 Astronomy for a start date in February. I had to send my forms in as I pay for all my courses through the business and with the snow and Christmas I was worried they wouldn’t get there on time. Then on Friday morning I got the Email to say im registered :)

I may find the workload a little to high but the requirements for S282 were to have done S151: Maths for Science or S104: Exploring Science, so the maths area of it should be ok, and since my main interest is in astronomy, hopefully I will find it easier going than the time hungry S104.  I have talked to a few people about the course and they said looking at the books S104 looks to be a harder course so that sounds good.

One big difference now is that as this is a level 2, these marks will count towards the classification of my degree, so I have to make sure I get a good result on this one. I’m not expecting a distinction but a good pass 70% – 84% would make me happy.

Now just have to wait for the material to arrive, the course website opens on the 6th January, so I will have a look at that this week. Apart from that it will be all S104 up to the end of the month.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, S282: Astronomy