I really enjoyed working through the modules of this course. The material was interesting and enlightening. The self-paced format worked well for me and I will look for similar courses going forward.
I was delighted to take this excellent course, the level of detail was perfect, the content very complete, Chris Impey was brilliant in the way he presented and commented on all the aspects covered.
By Sunil M•
Teaching methodology was great and content is equally great.
By Gilberto C P•
Great course, with exceptional material and good dynamics.
By Angel F A•
Muy interesante y clarificador. Muchas gracias profesor
By Viduranga L•
A great course. Than you for making it.
Its Amazing! Oh my god.
By Andrew J G•
By Adriana V B•
By Abin C T•
By Robin D•
It was an interesting course. What I would like to see is a course offered that is a bit more intensive. Perhaps with a bot of mathematics involved. What I see offered is entry level survey courses that are quite easy and then advanced courses that require knowledge of second or third year mathematics. A course or a certificate (4-5 courses) that bridges the gap between the two would be a benefit. Thank you
By Amit S•
It was interesting and gives you knowledge at a large extent, the only thing lacking is a role of mathematics in this course.
By Ravishankara B•
Good one. Detailed.
Too much of video clips from television etc. Can avoid those.
By Emmanuel M L•
it would help if the course have subs in spanish
By Omar H•
Entertaining, but very basic. Suits a beginner with very little knowledge of physics.
By Anil K•
This course is bad!
I had come upto week 4. While Chris Impey is knowledgeable and good, the course structure is very poor and leaves a lot to be desired. I would venture to make some suggestions:
a. Restrict each video to a max of 7 minutes. More than that makes one sleepy.
b. Reduce the number of videos in each module to a max of say 6.
c. Instead of having Chris expound it like an audio reading, please include some slides, pictures,tables so that the matter to be learnt becomes self evident and Chris doesn't have to speak so much. A good example is the Coursera "The Global Financial Crisis", which I am also doing currently.
d. If you feel all the material in this course has to be studied, then to achieve the objectives in (a) and (b) above, divide this course into two parts, Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space - part I & II.
e. The written assignments are very simple and do not require any mental resources other than memory. Can you make the questions more challenging? For example, in Telescopes (Assignment 2), can you not ask a question like "In addition to Atacama, Chile, using Google earth, which other parts of the globe may be suitable for installation of ground based telescopes?" or "To obviate the blurring effect of the atmosphere, discuss the possibility of high altitude balloon based telescopes?" or "What do you feel about the fact that since today's mobile phones have high computing ability, their components can be used to make a low-cost space based interferometric telescopes?"
Kudos to Chris and his team! On the whole, knowledge wise, this is a good course.
By Aitor C C•
I can't have my certirficate and already I pay for it!
By John E P•
This was a very interesting and well-presented course. I found all the content fascinating and much of the information was new to me. I enjoyed the diversity in the tools and methods, from Monty Python to music and cartoons. I found that once I got started I could not stop. I really enjoyed the section about life. I had taken an online course about Extremophiles at Edinburgh with Coursera but I was very interested in the tree of life based on DNA. It made sense and it showed how human evolution was perhaps more precarious than we imagined. Other life forms may be carbon-based given the number of combinations of molecules possible with carbon but it doesn't follow that the form would be similar to ours.
I enjoyed learning about the new methods being used to construct telescopes and especially the really innovative way that ground based telescopes can use secondary mirrors (Adaptive Optics) to compensate for atmospheric conditions, thereby reducing cost by reducing the need for orbital telescopes. It was exciting to hear that gravitational waves have now been discovered and to learn how dark matter and dark energy affect the behavior of our universe. I liked the way that Chris got us through the subject matter without getting too deep into second level or third level calculus. We learned a little about string theory as well as Gravity and Space-Time. Also, the exciting discovery of the Higgs Bosun particle and field.
I have read some of Issac Asimov's non-fiction books on the table of elements and biochemistry and I was happy to see the table of elements very well explained here too. I found the week on exoplanets really exciting and have always thought that there must be a huge number of planets out there and different forms of life also. I'm not sure how many would occupy the same short time line that we are on, I expect not many but with the numbers of planets that appear to be habitable it might be possible.
Black holes are amazing objects. It would be nice to know more about them and how dark matter and dark energy factor into the equation. I vaguely remember that Fred Hoyle had proposed a steady state theory and I think that would be interesting to read about. The infinite expansion of the universe due to dark energy was news to me and I find this quite amazing. How do we explain the concept of infinity. Are we all on a huge mobius strip? I like the simplicity of Fermi's question: Where are they? I think they are out there somewhere but I suspect that they are quite different to us. Perhaps at the next stage of our life, if there is one, perhaps we can take a flight through the universe(s) in a different form at any speed we want. Wouldn't that be great?
By Carlos O•
As a general feedback, first I would ask you to be patient with my lousy English and expecting that you understand what I am trying to express, here it is:
The course is amazing!
I came with the expectation to learn a little bit about Time and Space and, in the end, I was caught by surprise that you have gone far beyond it.
Starting with “The Scientific Method”, going all the way thru “Cosmology” and finalizing with questions about the “Next steps”, this was an incredible and, more importantly, useful journey to me.
I understand and value very much the work involved on providing such comprehensive material, I gladly (most of the time) read, listened, watched, participated in most of them. The course, to me, took 63 days with an average of 6-12 hours a day, monday to monday; besides your material, which I mostly saved, I look for some extra information, mainly on Wikipedia and some other educational sites, I also made a bunch of notes, summaries and found extra references. My ‘final’ document has almost 900 pages in 135 MB. I thought it would be nice to share. Your efforts were not in vain.
One of the interesting extra findings was to learn about “Science for Monks” program. It caught my attention (for several days) for many reasons, one of them is that eastern people do not, in general, try to scientifically explain the nature, the search is much more related to a balance of the self and the nature as it is presented, in my (semi-)oriental point of view. A sort of ‘equilibrium’, the same as planets and atoms and nature as a whole try to reach.
Another reflection was about their martial art, kung fu, and how it is balanced with their spiritual matters and believes. As half japanese and with some Judo background, it took me a while to understand the balance between these two things, supported from what you are teaching in terms of Physics and, in the end, try to make a reasonable sense in my mind.
I believe things are somehow connected and, in the end, seek for balance.
Just to close the above finding, the explanation I gave to myself is that martial art could be understood as “Philosophy in moviment” and being so, it can be explained in terms of Physics. I am ok with that. By the way, as brazilian, shamefully, I suck at soccer too...
I can not thank you enough for making available so much knowledge and, mainly, ‘forcing’ me reflect on many things in several different ways. But, in the end, your guidance made me more curious and inspired to learn even more.
The course is amazing.
Hoping this feedback was ok, I sincerely hope you the best,
Really fantastic! I'm an amateur, took the course with my high school daughter who is thinking of a career in astronomy so we wanted to explore basic concepts and understand what astronomers do. This was perfect for that purpose. I'm not sure she'll finish, but I found it so interesting I did. The course is just the right balance of videos, readings, activities. The videos are also well-done and it helps that it is not just a talking head the whole time, or reading of off a slide deck. I appreciate the sometimes fun and humorous asides in videos. Only critical feedback is that it seems to get out of date fast... the videos should have had time stamps on them or avoid terms like "recently", "about to" because we don't know if you are talking about something 5 years ago, or today. Hope to make time for more courses in the futur, thanks for doing this Chris and the Steward Observatory Team (and the teaching assistants, poor things, who have to wade through all of the comments from people confused about how to submit assignments... when there were actual questions, they answered promptly, clearly and well.)
By Richard E•
Note that I am probably an unusual student in that I have both T.A.ed and lectured in the past. I would give this course at least 90% ("A") for a survey of Astronomy course [no Math or Physics prerequisites]. The professor (Dr. Impey) is quite skilled in communicating with non-majors and encouraging them to learn more about Astronomy and Cosmology. Also, the free textbook material superbly matches the course and contains links to more detailed study [excellent!] I'd like to try a course for majors with him as well. Maybe, I'd have to become a UofA student remotely from Dallas?
Issues in course (How much is due to Coursera limitations?):
(1) Not enough lab work. Lab reinforces lectures and it is simply a lot of fun, especially for the novice.
(2) The writing assignments are reviewed by inexperienced peers -- we are unqualified and also this practice might tempt some to collusion.
(3) Some of the lectures need an update. Hopefully, this will happen in time for the next session.
By Daniele C•
This course has been a wonderful experience, leading and accompanying the student to the most interesting world of astronomy, explaining in the simplest possible way the behavior, origin and evolution of the most complicate thing that is: the Universe. From the history of science, the moon, the solar system, the stars, to the most recent theories regarding galaxies and cosmology and the possibility of life beyond Earth, everything is explained clearly and easily by professor Chris Impey and all the provided material, podcasts and texts.
If there is one thing that could be improved, in my opinion, is the use of external media in some lessons: in some there are used a bit too much, some felt unnecessary, like for example some abstracts from cartoons or comedies. The purpose to lighten and give some break to the explanation is accomplished, it is more a matter of personal tastes.
I rate 5 stars and definitely hope to see in future more courses from the University of Arizona and from professor Chris Impey.
By Sabrina N B•
This was an excellent and very comprehensive course, and it was enjoyable to take as someone who is interested in and curious about astronomy. I found the first week to be quite slow especially because the topic had to do with the sciences in general which I am already very familiar with, and it could have been condensed or limited further. However, after that, the course covered a great range of topics specific to astronomy, rich with details, providing a mix of both insightful questions and amazing answers. Everything was explained well, and it's nice to see the continuous development of astronomy from the past to the present along with speculation about the future.
The assignments weren't too difficult and revolved around details mentioned in the videos. The clips included in the videos helped keep the lectures interesting. All in all, it was well worth my time and I am happy to have taken this course.
By Robert E K P•
Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space is an excellent way to gain an overall view of the science of Astronomy. The course contains just the right amount of rigor to challenge the student and to continuously stimulate the desire to know more about each of the topics copies. There isn't any math or physics to worry about although the role both of these areas play in the study of the universe and the stars and objects it contains is described when necessary. There are peer reviewed writen assignments that help develop a better understanding of the subject material. The course also has some of the best and most involved mentors of any Coursera course I have taken. They are also available to answer questions and are very knowledge of the course materials. Dr. Impey's lectures are clear and very enjoyable to watch and the accompanying course materials are also excellent.
Truly beautiful course, if you've got that tiny bit of love for the night sky or physics just dive into it. It's just perfect. Its the perfect blend of fun references, clippings and simulations with absolutely great teaching imparting so much knowledge and info, every little thing from the videos to the script to the theories and concepts are laid out just picture perfectly. I couldn't have asked for more, it's one of the best courses there is out there if not the absolute best one! One heck of a journey I'll never forget! Thank you so much for everything Prof. Impey! Just owe so much to you! You've put together the best course I could've asked for! You're one of the best teachers ever! Thanks a million University of Arizona! (PS If anyone back in Arizona see's this please, please let the Prof know!) Cheers!
By Marc R•
This is a wonderful course, and I wholeheartedly recommend it, as a layperson with a lifelong interest in astronomy who has always wanted to formally study it. It is a good stepping-stone to more advanced or specialised courses, and the material is engaging and well-presented. The content ranges from introductory concepts, through an exploration of the solar-system, stars and galaxies, to relativity and cosmology, and the course ends with an intriguing and fascinating look at astrobiology and artificial life. The commitment and passion of the convenor, Prof Chris Impey, to his subject is apparent at every stage of the journey. Regular quizzes, short written assignments, discussion forums and videos, and exercises in both citizen-science and remote-viewing with online telescopes keep one engaged throughout.
By Pedro C•
I am very happy to have completed the course. I was able to learn a lot about various aspects of astronomy, especially galaxies and globular clusters that are objects that call my attention. I was able to read much of the material provided in teachastronomy, thank you for the kindness of making the material available. I watched all the videos of Professor Chris and I was able to follow well due to the availability of the subtitles in English, this was important. The interviews I could not follow completely by the lack of subtitles. This was a great opportunity for me that likes astronomy, but because of the distance that I live from the great centers of study, it is very difficult to access good and reliable information. I am very grateful and congratulate the institution for making this course available.