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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Confronting The Big Questions: Highlights of Modern Astronomy by University of Rochester

448 ratings
140 reviews

About the Course

An introduction to modern astronomy's most important questions. The four sections of the course are Planets and Life in The Universe; The Life of Stars; Galaxies and Their Environments; The History of The Universe....

Top reviews


Jul 31, 2017

Excellent course. Very clear lectures that cover a lot of ground in not a lot of time. Fantastic overview of most of what we know about astronomy and how we know it. Best class I've taken on Coursera.


Apr 11, 2018

The is the first time I have rated a course with 5 stars, but this one is worth it. I audited and did not take the exams, but I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures and I learned a lot.

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101 - 125 of 138 Reviews for Confronting The Big Questions: Highlights of Modern Astronomy

By Natalie S

Jul 10, 2017


By Julia B

Nov 25, 2016


By Krasnov P

Jun 23, 2016


By Adrian I

Jan 28, 2016

twas nice

By Derek H

Apr 5, 2016


By Alter S

Apr 3, 2016

love it

By Rossolatos A

Feb 7, 2016


By Claudio P

Nov 28, 2020

Very good experience, my first on Coursera. Sometime I found the questions at the end of the lessons, and the week quiz, a little too simplistic, and/or not so easy to relate to the lessons. Also, the many nice simulators that are needed in a few questions do not work under the iPad environment with Safari, because Flash Animations are not supported. I succeeded with a workaround (namely installing the Photon Browser App).

But generally speaking this is a good overview, without any need of physics or mathematics, about what we actually know about the universe. It would be interesting to have an update as of 2020 (there has been a few significative news, I believe, in the meantime)

By Dan M

Jan 8, 2021

This is a good course but it's showing its age a little bit. The biggest issue is in the exercises and activities documents where links to the tools no longer work. These tools appear to have mostly been using Flash, which is now dead. The tools themselves have been rewritten and our still out there but not at the URLs provided. In addition, week 4's activity is reading a primer and a dead link is provided. People change web sites in six years. Again, if you're resourceful, you can find it but the links this course provides are mostly dead now.

By Reg T

Feb 2, 2016

As a quick overview to modern astronomy and cosmology this is a very worthwhile course. Highly informative and well presented. Material is detailed enough to provide an understanding of the topics covered and hints at more complexity to encourage further exploration.

Marked down to four stars solely on the basis of the review questions. Some of these are ambiguous or have a lack of clarity. Otherwise this course, given the level and time allocation, would rate 5 stars.

By Francisco M D D F

Aug 13, 2017

Excellent quality of presentation of the content; however, some of the questions at the end of each week required knowledge acquired outside of this course, e.g. the question about red, green and blue quark configurations. Also, there were a few typos in some questions. Most of the questions were fine though. I especially liked learning how to use some of the online simulators for weeks 1 and 2. Overall this was a good course which I would recommend to my peers.

By jefferson b

May 5, 2020

It was very informative! I learned a lot of things that I may be able to use in my teaching of Astronomy to Senior High students. Although, I have a comment on the exams because there are lots of items that were not mentioned in the lectures but came out in the exam. But as a whole, it was a great experience! I am looking forward to learn more and meet Professor Frank in person. God bless!

By Nicholas O

Mar 4, 2021

The course is enjoyable and the video explanations are clear, but the questions in the quiz frentently go way beyound the information provide and are therefore very difficult (my friend has a 1st in astophysics and even they couldnt answer some of the questions)

By Charles H

Feb 1, 2016

This course provided a great overview of Astronomy. I thought the difficulty was about right for a survey course and recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of how we think the universe came to be and what we think will happen to it.

By Frederick G

Jan 26, 2016

Good overview of the topic. Inspiring lecturer. No need for any complicated math. Having a background in physics on advanced high school level should probably be enoughto pass this course.

By Bill T

Mar 31, 2019

Very good overview. I thought that some of the questions given were not covered in the lectures, e.g., that all valid combinations of color charge have to be colorless.


May 24, 2020

The course was very informative and helpful.But some of questions in the quizes where not in the videos and hence quizes appeared to be difficult.

By Naman J

Oct 9, 2019

This course was very theoretical, I was expecting a bit more data and a bit more details of the processes by which we take various measurements.

By Joanna L

Dec 28, 2021

well-prepared course overall; one simulation seemed to be outdated, but the material was very interesting and engaging

By Roshni R

Oct 12, 2016

Great professor. Simple to understand and made me love astrology... Quizzes are a bit challenging though...

By Laurent G

Jul 29, 2019

A sympatic and exhaustive presentation of the questions that are brought to our conscience

By Witold R

Oct 26, 2016

Very good overview of modern astronomy. Easy to understand by non native English speaker.

By Srinivasan B

May 10, 2020

In some sections the lecture did not cover all the ideas presented in the slides

By Kian H

Apr 10, 2022

The weekly quizzes had many mistakes!

However, the course was really great.

By Javi R

Sep 17, 2019

The course is amazing, but the quizs are very difficult.