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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Science of the Solar System by Caltech

737 ratings

About the Course

Learn about the science behind the current exploration of the solar system in this free class. Use principles from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology to understand the latest from Mars, comprehend the outer solar system, ponder planets outside our solar system, and search for habitability in our neighborhood and beyond. This course is generally taught at an advanced level assuming a prior knowledge of undergraduate math and physics, but the majority of the concepts and lectures can be understood without these prerequisites. The quizzes and final exam are designed to make you think critically about the material you have learned rather than to simply make you memorize facts. The class is expected to be challenging but rewarding....

Top reviews


Mar 3, 2020

Learning facilitated by good lecturing, well prepared lectures and excellent quizzes.

Lecturer Mike Brown, enthusiastic about his subject, generous in sharing his knowledge, humorous, and honest.


Nov 28, 2017

Challenging. Amazing. Mind-Blowing.

Space enthusiasts should totally do this course. And yeah, did I say that Mike Brown is the coolest teacher ever. Never a dull moment in the lectures. :)

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51 - 75 of 267 Reviews for The Science of the Solar System

By Huan W

Jan 14, 2022

The best course I've ever taken, from which I've learned so much about the solar system, Jupiter's core and giant planets' migration model, asteroids and the stories they can tell about the evolution of the solar system, etc. But most of all, I've learned about how to analyze a complex problem, how did we get the conclusions, how did we research, and what kind of tools and methods can we use to dig through. Professor Brown is an amazing and ethuasitic instructor.

By Peiyu T

Mar 20, 2021

Intriguing. Captivating. Thought-provoking. With Sir Mike Brown and the guest lecturers' enthusiasm in unwrapping the hidden messages of the Solar System, I got to grasp insights into planetary science and beyond. The concepts are well-explained though perhaps challenging for high school students like me. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a great starting point on your journey in the Universe, this course is definitely what you are looking for! Happy learning!

By Jana K

Oct 14, 2019

I absolutely loved how the lections were prepared, I felt like I was having one to one conversations and I felt curious for next and next lecture. I was more interested in the lections starting with the 5th week - focused on Jupiter and outer Solar System as the first 4 weeks were focused on Mars, though even this topic was handled in an interesting way. I recommend this course as it gives a very nice overview of our Solar system, full on astonishing facts.

By Matthew F

Nov 9, 2020

Highly recommended - fascinating course run by an incredibly engaging and clearly passionate professor.

I took the course as I had a casual interest in the subject, but it has made me question how I can incorporate further learning of the solar system (and beyond) into my career.

Many thanks for the time and expertise, including from the fascinating guest lecturers, put into creating and running this taster of what we have to learn from the solar system.

By Bart R

May 9, 2017

I enjoyed this course tremendously. It was awesome to see how Mike Brown and his colleagues would explain not only what is known about the solar system, but also how these hypotheses came into being and (often) were proved. There was a good mix between things that you could conceptually grasp without knowing physics, chemistry or math too much without the course being too easy or too devoid of depth. I highly recommend this course.

By Lucien B

Jun 1, 2020

Great course ! I learnt a lot, Prof Brown is extremely good and and keeps an open minded posture and brings great depth of perspective to the training. He managed to keep the content as accessible (assuming prior knowledge of BSc physics and maths to get all the info)

I wish my teachers were as good during university and grad school :) it makes me somehow regret not choosing astronomy as a PhD. Tough but so exciting topic !!

By David R

May 9, 2020

Great course and ample knowledge to get from it, very well updated within reasonable manner.

I found it very well prepared, useful and easy to follow, also allowing great room for working on every subject. I appreciate the proper differentiation among facts, currently accepted theories, alternative possibilities and. opinions.

Congratulations for a really great job preparing the course and keeping it updated.

By Buğrahan Y

Oct 5, 2020

I am really happy to be able to take and finish this course. The instructor and other professors were amazing and I have learnt amazing stuff. Thanks to everyone who participated on creating this course. I definitely achieved my goals from this course that I desired along the course. I will recommend this course to everyone I know who is interested in space and our solar system. Thanks for everything.

By Monika K

Apr 27, 2016

I love Prof Brown's enthusiasm. He is very engaging, clearly he enjoys reaching so many students around the world. His efforts are much appreciated!

I'm taking this course more from data science's point of view. I need to understand concepts and a bit of physics and maths in order to run my tests but not to the degree of an astronomer (not yet, anyway). It's been hugely educational and interesting.

By Luis A

Apr 4, 2016

While there are a few technical issues, this is an awesome course. Not only is it is very detailed and informative, but entertaining and sometimes even amusing. Being so detailed and informative, a lot of the material is quite challenging. The tests in particular are tough. However, I highly recommend this course because it will make you really appreciate astronomy as a field and the solar system.

By Dr. I D

Dec 21, 2016

The Science of the Solar System is well worth taking and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in astronomy. Professor Brown is a wonderful teacher; he presents the course lectures in a style that promotes understanding, explaining facts carefully and fluently, often with a touch of humour. The guest lecturers also present their contributions in a focused and enjoyable manner.

By Shrabani P

Dec 20, 2021

This is perhaps one of the most exceptionally detailed and understandable set of lectures procured to understand astronomy and planetary science. I was absolutely enthralled by the sheer amount of materials and techniques that were delivered to us by an amazing, engaging and delightful lecturer. I would say, my understanding of planetary physics has improved tremendously! Thank you so much!

By Cade H

Jun 21, 2017

This is an excellent course. It covers a wide range of interesting topics in a technical but accessible way. The information is "layered" such that students of different technical backgrounds can all participate and each take the appropriate level of detail away. Dr. Brown communicates clearly and engagingly, and he is an astronomical "rock star" taking time to teach all comers.

By Mary S

Aug 15, 2021

This was an extremely interesting and informative course. Challenging at times. Recommended for anyone with a passion for the Planets and the mysterious Solar System. Mike Brown hosted his videos in a very professional manner but also with a good sense of humour and some amusing anecdotes. I appreciate his sharing of his amazing knowledge. Thank you for the opportunity.

By Terry L L

Jul 18, 2017

I am a social scientist and this course filled a very large void in my knowledge. While data for social scientists are gathered in the here-and-now with subjects being only a few feet away, I have learned to respect how astromers must gatherdata points that are millions of years old AND millions of miles away. Good luck, Professor Brown, with your work on Lucy!

By Jorfel A O M

Mar 2, 2021

Thanks to Professor Mike, I was able to expand my horizons about the big questions that bring our corner of the universe. I am a Venezuelan about to graduate as an electronic engineer and I have worked as a scientific disseminator specialized in astronomy, I am looking to do a master's degree soon and this course gave me enormous tools to advance my objectives.

By Stacey B

Sep 22, 2021

This course was spectacular! I've always loved science and this course sounded exciting. A combination of astronomy, physics and a lesson on our solar system; both historical and newer developments. If you are looking for a challenging course, this is the one for you. This science course is certainly not taught the same way that I learned back in high school.

By Astrophel S

Nov 26, 2020

Course is precise, engaging and relevant to understand challenging vast contents. Prof. Brown's teaching style has broaden my understanding of Solar system. All lectures comes with clearly detailed explanations.The course is well suited for novice to advance students. All in all enthusiastic Prof. successfully delivers a research and evidence-based course.

By Ertan Y

Sep 20, 2017

Awesome! Completing this course gave me the ability to form my own opinions about developments of space exploration. I learned not just raw info about the solar system but also the methods the astronomers use in order to explore the universe and find out about its origins, going back billions of years ago. Just what I expected from this course.

By Shaheer A

Jan 20, 2021

If you're into astrophysics, astrobiology or planetary sciences then this course is a must for you. It would not only allow you to enhance your existing knowledge about the topic but would also aid you if you're pursuing a degree in Planetary Sciences or any other space-related field. I would highly recommend you all to enrolll in this course.

By Joseph E B

Nov 14, 2021

Thanks to CalTech, Professor Mike Brown, and everyone who was involved with bringing this class to Coursera. This was such a great opportunity to learn from today's experts about developments in modern astronomy and space exploration. It was a challenging and rewarding nine week journey, which will lead me to further reading and study

By Clement M

Nov 19, 2022

This has reconciled me with online courses. I have used parts of it to inspire and inform a planetary science class I teach at the University of York and I am very grateful such a resource exists. The constant nods to the research literature were very useful and pedagogical. Fantastic lecturer, fantastic lectures.

By Kim

May 28, 2017

The more you hear in this class, the more you will look up at the night sky in awe and wonder. Do it, and tell a friend! :-)

The video lectures are a fantastic and entertaining look at the puzzles of our solar system, how some of the answers are being teased out, and the special world of astronomy in general.

By Ritabrata M

Jan 2, 2017

Incredible Content on Display. Amazing Execution by the Profs. Besides fundamental prerequisites of physics and math(which are required) ,each topic is taken up from scratch and dealt with respect to its application.No wonder Caltech is the world leader in planetary science.Go Ahead and immerse yourselves!