Chevron Left
Back to Astro 101: Black Holes

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Astro 101: Black Holes by University of Alberta

857 ratings
289 reviews

About the Course

What is a black hole? Do they really exist? How do they form? How are they related to stars? What would happen if you fell into one? How do you see a black hole if they emit no light? What’s the difference between a black hole and a really dark star? Could a particle accelerator create a black hole? Can a black hole also be a worm hole or a time machine? In Astro 101: Black Holes, you will explore the concepts behind black holes. Using the theme of black holes, you will learn the basic ideas of astronomy, relativity, and quantum physics. After completing this course, you will be able to: • Describe the essential properties of black holes. • Explain recent black hole research using plain language and appropriate analogies. • Compare black holes in popular culture to modern physics to distinguish science fact from science fiction. • Describe the application of fundamental physical concepts including gravity, special and general relativity, and quantum mechanics to reported scientific observations. • Recognize different types of stars and distinguish which stars can potentially become black holes. • Differentiate types of black holes and classify each type as observed or theoretical. • Characterize formation theories associated with each type of black hole. • Identify different ways of detecting black holes, and appropriate technologies associated with each detection method. • Summarize the puzzles facing black hole researchers in modern science....

Top reviews


Jul 30, 2020

i love this course, everything from knowledge to the visual and scientific data, this course amazed me.\n\ni thanking to all the person in this course to sharing this knowledge in such an amazing way


Jul 26, 2020

It is an Excellent course , with no math assignments, if you want to learn Black holes Definitely, this is the course for you , i am looking for another course from same team. Excellent Team Effort.

Filter by:

251 - 275 of 295 Reviews for Astro 101: Black Holes


Oct 31, 2021

thank you

By Pierpaolo Z

Dec 5, 2020


By Deleted A

Jul 26, 2020

Good Job!

By Bülent Ü

Feb 20, 2021



Jun 16, 2020



Dec 4, 2021

By Markus W

Aug 6, 2019


By Hussain Y

Dec 25, 2018


By Robert C C

Nov 1, 2018


By Shauna B

Apr 23, 2022

I really enjoyed this course. While it needed a sustained and focussed effort, I found it more and more interesting as I went along, at my own pace. I have a degree in Chemistry so had done some Physics in University, which helped. I might not recommend it to folks who didn't have some higher math, as that helped me immensely. Some of the equations I'd seen before (like Planck's and time dilation) and I'm comfortable with scientific notation. But that won't be true for everyone. Perhaps a little side unit to help people grapple with formula math and test their skills? A little cheat sheet they could revisit as they plowed into the more complex formulas?

I've always been intrigued by black holes and the course made me even more interested in: how we've observed them (gravitational radiation and pulsar timing arrays are way cool BTW) as well the different black holes in our galaxy and universe. The use of analogies was great (a lot of food involved) and helped with the more mind-bending concepts. In a way, your intellects bent my mind the way that black holes bend light! It was a fun journey and I appreciate all the thought and effort that clearly went into this course. Not to mention the cumulative knowledge of the team of presenters and the guest speakers. Impressive. Thanks very much.

I'll be looking to see if there are similar courses on astronomy. I've taken 3 courses from the U of A (Dinos, Bugs, and Black Holes) - all of the 101 type. Each and every one has been excellent. Thank you for making higher education generally accessible - it has been a mental lifesaver.

By Miranda H

Jan 5, 2019

Very interesting course. Between the colourful backgrounds of the speakers, simple imagery and the food analogies, they made astronomical theories and evidence much easier to understand for those who do not come from a physics background. Perhaps minor issues here and there with sound and when the speaker was not looking directly at the screen it could be a little off-putting, but other than that, it was an amazing course. I come from a biological sciences background (specifically health sciences) and I found this quite easy to understand. Tests were also fair as they were based on theories and confirmed evidence rather than equations, and weren't too difficult if you paid attention to the videos. Even if you didn't 100% understand a concept, the images presented to you stick quite well in your mind to the point you are able to answer the test questions easier. Coming out of this, I now have a greater understanding of some of the greatest physics concepts from Newton, Einstein, and so on. I have also expanded my knowledge of astronomy and the universe, as I have been studying it since I was a little girl, but was unfortunately able to pursue it due to my strong dislike for physics (you know, boring plain Earth physics). This helped me to continue on my passion for astronomy while also avoiding those icky physics courses. Thanks to the UofA and their group of astronomers for putting this together for anyone needing their astronomy fix.

By Janice a W

Feb 4, 2022

This was an excellent course. I knew nothing about physics, astronomy or Black Holes. The course kept me engaged. and I feel I have a much greater understanding. I took this course so I could understand some of the discussions that would happen as the James Webb Telescope starts to send info back to us. I have way more vocabulary than I did 4 weeks ago. Thank you to the University of Alberta for another fabulous course. I took this course in conjunction with Class Central and found that CC helped keep me focused and on task. It was wonderful when Dr Sharon joined us for a live session and one of the Astrophysicists from the Greenland Radio Telescope joined us. This was very exciting for me!!

By Alex C

Feb 28, 2021

I enjoyed this course a lot, so far i have finished 2 courses from alberta and have another on going. The quality of the content and enthusiasm of the lecturers makes a difference. I know it is not an ivy league or elite uni but they are definitely making great courseware on the mooc market. I hope there will be some follow up courses to this and the mountains course i took, whether more quantitative in approach or expanding the range i dont mind but now i have had my appetite whetted i want more! excellent work from the whole team, and many thanks!

By Emily N

Nov 4, 2020

The instructors made the concepts very clear and understandable. I've just started year 13 and I ended up learning about Newton's Law of gravitation on this course at the same time as I was learning it in class so I would really recommend this course to GCSE or A-level students who want to deepen their enthusiasm for the subject. Also can't believe how much I didn't know about black holes until I completed this course.

By Gunnar B

Jun 26, 2021

A lot of fascinating information which shaped my perspective on stars, binaries, creation of heavy elements as well as, of course, the anatomy of black holes. In terms of instruction, I hesitate to critique with the UCP doing its best to kill of the U of A, but I muted Dr. Morsink and Dr Gladstone and read through their lectures because as speakers they tended to put me to sleep.

By p v k

Mar 2, 2019

With professors who can shrink astronomical distances and explain concepts in time, space and cosmology with such lucidity and more importantly joy, this course was bound to be one ,which in literal sense, has transformed the black hole into a living vibrant entity. The team has rekindled the joy of learning in me and am sure in all students. Heartfelt thanks .

By Amanda S

Feb 11, 2020

I took this course mainly as a refresher course for myself. I learned some new things that I enjoyed! I know this was a beginner course but I would have preferred the instructors showing how to calculate the few equations that they talked about at least. I feel a lot of information was spoken about briefly and not depthfully enough to fully grasp.

By Manish K

Jul 30, 2020

This course is pretty good. It helps in developing intrest about black holes. One drawback about this course is that If you want to understand all the mathematics including black holes and general relativity then this course is not for you. Otherwise this course is fantastic as they teaches using computer graphics and images.

By Sumeet N

Nov 18, 2020

Ross is the best trainer among the four of them (even without comparison). The 4 rating is for the knowledge in the course and of the trainers. Some points and some mathematics could have stressed more. For someone like me who is allergic to mathematics, those principles escape before being understood.


By Rubén M R

Jan 7, 2021

It's interesting but the lack of (elemental) formulas and graphics to illustrate some simple concepts make the course a little "boring". Too much (interesting) speeches. The professors make a great effort to transmit the subject. Good for them!.

By Chris S

Dec 30, 2020

This course gives a thorough analysis of Black holes which includes examining other phenomena such as the Big Bang, neutron stars, pulsars, space time and the effect of gravitation on light. A comprehensive look at the universe.

By John B

Mar 22, 2019

Great pace and great teachers! Would have loved more math-based problems to practice the formulas and calculations, but that's just me. A must-take course if you're starting out on your quest to understand the Universe.

By Steven G

Jul 9, 2019

An excellent introductory course into the physics of black holes. I only gave it four stars since I felt it could have had more mathematics content for students that want to dig a little deeper into the material.

By Shivanshu K

Jul 5, 2020

This is a pretty good course give you a really good insight into the Black holes. The only problem I had was that most of the queries are unanswered, which is a little problematic in cementing the foundation.