About this Course

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Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Approx. 9 hours to complete

Suggested: 1 1/2 to 2 hours of study and review, each of 5 modules. There is also a final project....

English

Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 9 hours to complete

Suggested: 1 1/2 to 2 hours of study and review, each of 5 modules. There is also a final project....

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
1 hour to complete

Introduction to the Sun and Eclipses

In this module we describe what causes eclipses, how rare it is for any one place to experience a total eclipse, the dramatic difference between a total or a partial eclipse, and encourage you to see the total eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. We also review the upcoming course topics, demonstrate how large the sun is, and introduce sunspots.

...
8 videos (Total 24 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
8 videos
1. Description and video of a total eclipse - watch people and animals freak out!4m
2. How to watch an eclipse5m
3. Overview of Course Topics and Goals2m
4. Eclipses of the sun.1m
5. Total vs. partial eclipses1m
6. How Astronomers Study the Sun. The Sun's size compared with earth.4m
7. Sunspots and the solar activity cycle1m
1 reading
You can start final project now!2m
1 practice exercise
Week 1 Quiz18m
Week
2
1 hour to complete

Most of what we know about the Sun is learned from Light

In this module we explain how astronomers use visible and invisible light (ultraviolet and X-rays) to study the sun. We learn that all light comes from atoms, and that the quantum world of atoms is like nothing you’ve ever seen! We see how the properties of light let us determine the sun’s temperature, its composition, and the important role of its magnetic fields.

...
7 videos (Total 45 min), 1 quiz
7 videos
2. What is light? Differences between red, blue, ultraviolet, and X-ray light.2m
3. Properties of light. White light. Kirchhoff-Bunsen laws. How color tells you temperature.8m
4. Don’t be fooled by reflected light!5m
5. Is light a Wave? Is it a particle? It’s both! The strange world of quantum physics.6m
6. Spectrum lines – how they tell us what the sun is made of; the quantum origin of spectrum lines.8m
7. How visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays reveal the sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Magnetic fields and the solar wind.10m
1 practice exercise
Week 2 Quiz30m
Week
3
1 hour to complete

How does the Sun work? What makes it shine? What’s inside?

We can’t see inside the sun with visible light, but there are ways to infer or even see down to the sun’s center, where vast amount of energy are generated, making possible life on earth.

...
7 videos (Total 30 min), 1 quiz
7 videos
2. Newton's law of gravity3m
3. The "pefect gas" law that explains temperature, pressure, and density3m
4. Inside the sun; nuclear energy generation.8m
5. The transport of energy from the sun's core to the surface1m
6. Neutrinos and Sunquakes (solar seismology)4m
7. Einstein proved right by a total eclipse - gravity warps space!6m
1 practice exercise
Week 3 Quiz10m
Week
4
1 hour to complete

How did the sun form?

When you look at Hubble Space Telescope images of beautiful clouds of gas in space you are seeing what happened in our own solar system 4 ½ billion years ago when the sun formed. This week we explain how that process works.

...
7 videos (Total 26 min), 1 quiz
7 videos
2. Regions of star formation in space.3m
3. Converting gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy heats forming stars.5m
4. Conservation of angular momentum causes a new star to spin.2m
5. A previous generation of stars made the elements that formed the sun and planets.3m
6. Different kinds of stars make different elements and recyle them into the galaxy.3m
7. The formation of the planets around the sun.5m
1 practice exercise
Quiz for Week 426m
4.6
26 ReviewsChevron Right

Top reviews from The Sun and the Total Eclipse of August 2017

By JBJul 24th 2017

I learned a lot and wished I'd known how interested I am in physics. Looking forward to August 21, 2017. Thanks Dr. Doug for your teaching!

By RJul 3rd 2017

Excellent Course structure. This course is suitable for all the college going students and for all branches. Thus a universal course.

Instructor

Avatar

Douglas Duncan

Astronomer, Director, Fiske Planetarium
Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences

About University of Colorado Boulder

CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.