University of Arizona
Knowing the Universe: History and Philosophy of Astronomy
University of Arizona

Knowing the Universe: History and Philosophy of Astronomy

Taught in English

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4,347 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Chris Impey

Instructor: Chris Impey

Top Instructor


(21 reviews)

Beginner level

Recommended experience

32 hours to complete
3 weeks at 10 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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There are 8 modules in this course

This module welcomes students to the course and explains the structure and assignments of the class.

What's included

2 videos3 readings2 quizzes

What was the Early History of Astronomy? From the Neolithic era to the Classical Greek era, we explore the origins of humanity’s fascination with the night sky and the practical applications of their observations and discoveries.

What's included

12 videos6 quizzes1 peer review

In this module we discuss the contributions made to the field of by different civilizations during the Middle Ages. We also explore, with the coming of the Renaissance, how the field of astronomy evolved due to the contributions of Kepler, Brahe, and Galileo.

What's included

14 videos6 quizzes1 peer review

The scientific revolution had a far-reaching impact on the field of astronomy. From Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to Newton’s theory of universal gravity, the Golden Age of Science brings with it new tools and methods to understand the universe and our place in it. Additionally, we discuss how the study of the universe gives us insight into the history of our home planet.

What's included

14 videos7 quizzes1 peer review

This module explores the creation of different astronomical tools and methods used to observe and gather data from the night sky. We then jump to Einstein, his theory of relativity, and how our modern observations give confirmation to the validity of this theory.

What's included

12 videos6 quizzes1 peer review

What are stars? How are they created? How and why do they die? By closely examining atomic theory, the answers to all these questions and more are discussed in this module.

What's included

12 videos5 quizzes1 peer review

This module answers the “big questions": how was the universe created, how old is the universe, and will the universe come to and end? Galactic and super-galactic structures are examined as well.

What's included

13 videos6 quizzes1 peer review

This module attempts to answer one of humanity’s most pressing questions: are we alone in the universe? Through the discussion of exoplanets and astrobiology, we hope to shed some light on this matter.

What's included

7 videos4 quizzes1 peer review


Instructor ratings
4.9 (16 ratings)
Chris Impey

Top Instructor

University of Arizona
3 Courses257,822 learners

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Recommended if you're interested in Physics and Astronomy

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