"How do they know that?"
Modern astronomy has made some astonishing discoveries - how stars burn and how black holes form; galaxies from the edge of the universe and killer rocks right next door; where the elements come from and how the expanding universe is accelerating. But how do we know all that? The truth is that astronomy would be impossible without technology, and every advance in astronomy is really an advance in technology. But the technology by itself is not enough. We have to apply it critically with a knowledge of physics to unlock the secrets of the Universe.
Each week we will cover a different aspect of Astronomical technology, matching each piece of technology to a highlight science result. We will explain how the technology works, how it has allowed us to collect astronomical data, and, with some basic physics, how we the interpret the data to make scientific discoveries.
Week-1 - Science and Technology : a marriage made in Heaven
Week-2 - Telescopes : Picturing the Universe
Week-3 - Space : Getting above it all
Week-4 - Detectors : Catching the light from the stars
Week-5 - Computers : Crunching the data
Week-6 - Spectrographs : Taking the fingerprints of the stars
No background required. Some knowledge of physics will help you to get more out of the course, but its not essential.
The class will consist of video lectures, weekly quizzes, and discussion forums. Each week there will be five videos, totalling approximately 40 minutes. They will be in a regular pattern - a short introduction, an example science story, an explanation
of the key technology area, a look at how the technology is used in practice, and finally a look at what the future may hold.
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
No. The Statement of Accomplishment is not part of a formal qualification from the University. However, it may be useful to demonstrate prior learning and interest in your subject to a higher education institution or potential employer.
No resources needed.
You will learn how we can collect and interpret huge data sets to make scientific discoveries and better understand the universe.