Astronomy - State of the artI spotted this course just moments before it actually started - well a day or two. I hadn't heard of Udemy before - so this was new.
It looked really good - it promised to cover a lot of areas - and I'm often concious that I only get to see stuff on galactic scales, and mostly theoretical - so this looked like it would be good for balance.
I have to say it was fantastic. You can take the course at your own speed. There was some initial attempts to have quizes as part of them - they had issues getting the system to work so they were shelved.
It really did cover pretty much the whole of astronomy, from telescopes, to planets, to stars, black holes, and galaxies to cosmology - and all stops in between in 77 chunks. It breaks down in the following topics.
- SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION
- Course Overview,
- SECTION 2 EXPLORING OUR UNIVERSE
- State of the Art Observing,
- Observing Limitations,
- Observing Solutions,
- Adaptive Optics,
- Space Astronomy,
- Big Glass,
- Gravity Waves
- SECTION 3 UNDERSTANDING OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
- Overview - Planetary Exploration
- Mars and Water
- Mars Up Close
- Jovian Planets
- Solar System Satellites
- Water Worlds
- SECTION 4 DISCOVERING EXTRA SOLAR PLANETS
- Overview - Extra Solar Planets
- Detection and Imaging
- Characterizing Exoplanets
- Habitable Zones
- SECTION 5 PROBING DISTANT STARS
- Overview - Stars
- Stars and Life
- Black Holes
- Testing Gravity
- SECTION 6 INSPECTING OTHER GALAXIES
- Overview - Structure & Evolution of Galaxies
- Milky Way
- Dark Matter
- Galactic Center
- Active Galaxies
- Structure Formation
- Dark Energy
- SECTION 7 EXAMINING THE COSMOS
- Overview - Cosmology
- Microwave Background
- Big Bang
- Early Universe
- The Multiverse
- SECTION 8 UNCOVERING EVIDENCE FOR LIFE
- Overview - Life and Astrobiology
- The Unity of Life
- Weird Life
- Drake Equation
Towards the end of the course he also conducted some live sessions where we could send in questions either live or by email/twitter and he'd answer them live on video conference. They ranged from "Is there life on Mars?" to "What happens in a black hole?" and many others. Nothing seemed to phase him, and each question got a good 5 or 10 minute answer.
The course is still going - and anyone can watch the videos, read the material and take part in the interactive sessions. It's well worth it if you are at all interested.
Even better - after the quantum mechanics course I'd just taken, it was a complete relief to feel on top of a subject!