This course provides students with a short overview of structure and content of the Universe. Each week will cover one question. In week one we address the issue of extra-solar planets - planets orbiting other stars and ask what do we know about these alien worlds touching on issues of life in the Universe as well. In the second week we explore the life of stars. The third week looks at galaxies their history and their distribution across space. The last two lectures explore cosmology - the history of the Universe as a whole.
By the end of the class students will have gained an overview of the Universe they inhabit and an understanding of its biggest unresolved questions.
Week 1: Planets and Life in The Universe
Exoplanets searches, exoplanet census, astrobiology
Week 2: The Life of Stars
Star formation, fusion and stellar middle age, black holes and stellar death
Week 3: Galaxies and Their Environments
Galaxy types, Active Galactic Nuclei, Clusters of Clusters of Galaxies
Week 4: The History of The Universe
Why the Big Bang? A History of Time, What Happened Before the Big Bang
Students with a background in mathematics and an interest in science and astronomy are welcome!
No required readings.
The class will consist of lecture videos, which are between 8 and 12 minutes in length and interactive exercised developed for the textbook. There will be quiz for each week and a final exam.
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, a copy of the text, and the time to read, write, discuss, and enjoy our exploration of the big questions in astronomy.