University of Colorado Boulder
The Sun and the Total Eclipse of August 2017
University of Colorado Boulder

The Sun and the Total Eclipse of August 2017

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

5,356 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Douglas Duncan

Instructor: Douglas Duncan


(69 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
8 hours to complete
3 weeks at 2 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Describe how to safely watch safely an eclipse

  • Explain the fundamentals of sun science including the physics of light, how astronomers study the sun, how it formed and how we know what’s inside it

Details to know

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There are 5 modules in this course

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.

What's included

8 videos1 reading1 quiz1 discussion prompt

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.

What's included

7 videos1 quiz2 discussion prompts

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.

What's included

7 videos1 quiz1 discussion prompt

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.

What's included

7 videos1 quiz1 discussion prompt

This Week 5 presentation concentrates on what will happen during the Great American Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017. It may be viewed alone, or after Weeks 1-4. Weeks 1-4 give a lot of explanation of what you will see, so I hope you take the full course, but if you are in a hurry, this week alone will prepare you.

What's included

4 videos1 quiz2 peer reviews3 discussion prompts


Instructor ratings
4.5 (6 ratings)
Douglas Duncan
University of Colorado Boulder
1 Course5,356 learners

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