Astronomy - State of the Art

Join Prof. Chris Impey in this Astronomy for beginners course and learn about today's amazing astronomical discoveries!
303 reviews
TAUGHT BY
  • Professor Chris Impey University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona

    Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department at the University of Arizona, in charge of academic programs. His research is on observational cosmology, gravitational lensing, and the evolution and structure of galaxies. He has over 170 refereed publications and 60 conference proceedings, and his work has been supported by $20 million in grants from NASA and the NSF. As a professor, he has won eleven teaching awards, and has been heavily involved in curriculum and instructional technology development. Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society. He has also been an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, and the Carnegie Council on Teaching’s Arizona Professor of the Year. Impey has written over thirty popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology and authored two introductory textbooks. His has published three popular science books: The Living Cosmos (2007, Random House), How It Ends (2010, Norton) and How It Began (2012, Norton), and has three more in preparation, including one on his work in India with Buddhist monks from Tibet. He was co-chair of the Education and Public Outreach Study Group for the Astronomy Decadal Survey of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Dr. Matthew Wenger Educational Technologist at Steward Observatory

    Matthew is an instructional technologist with Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona.  He has a PhD in astronomy education and over 15 years of experience working in informal science education and free-choice learning.  Prior to his current position, Matthew completed a postdoctoral position in free-choice STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning at Oregon State University.

    </p>
  • Carmen is an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona, interested in a career in space science public outreach. She worked for over 2 years with the education and public outreach professionals of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), and is now a member and officer of both the UA Astronomy Club and the UA chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), and working with Chris Impey on his endeavors to  bring astronomy education into the 21st century

  • I'm a 4th year Ph.D. student in astrophysics at the University of Arizona. My research focuses on developing telescopes and receivers for high frequency radio observatories.

WHAT'S INSIDE
  • Lifetime access to 77 lectures and 1 quizzes
  • 23+ hours of high quality content
  • A community of 24500+ students learning together!
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Astronomy - State of the Art

Join Prof. Chris Impey in this Astronomy for beginners course and learn about today's amazing astronomical discoveries!
303 reviews

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COURSE DESCRIPTION

This astronomy for beginners course is for anyone who loves astronomy and wants to get up to date on the most recent astronomical discoveries.  Join Professor Chris Impey and our team of instructors from Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona to learn the science behind the latest astronomy news headlines, to enrich your understanding of the universe, and to glimpse the future of this exciting area of research.  Lecture material will be augmented by discussion, live Q&A, and guest lectures. Find us on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and follow us on Twitter @AstronomySOTA.

    • Interest in Astronomy
    • Over 77 lectures and 23.5 hours of content!
    • Become familiar with the cutting edge of astronomy research, from the Solar System and exoplanets to galaxies and the distant universe.
    • Learn how astronomers are addressing profound issues such as the existence of life beyond Earth and black holes and the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
    • Gain an appreciation for the technological innovations in telescopes and detectors that are transforming our view of the universe.
    • Everyone
    • Amateur Astronomers
    • Planetarium Educators
    • Science Center and Museum Educators
    • Science Teachers
    • Astronomy Instructors
    • Students of Astronomy

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CURRICULUM

  • SECTION 1:
    Introduction
  • 1
    Course Overview
    1 page

    This flyer describes the course and the topics that will be covered.

  • 2
    Course Description
    Text
    This document provides an overview of how the course is structured and how students can participate and communicate with each other and the instructors.
  • 3
    Welcome to Astronomy - State of the Art
    04:32
    This video introduces students to Professor Chris Impey and provides an overview of the course, structure, and options for participation.
  • SECTION 2:
    Exploring Our Universe
  • 4
    Overview - State of the Art Observing
    02:24
    In this section of the course we will cover the science, tools, and technology behind professional astronomical observation.  This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 2: Exploring Our Universe.
  • 5
    Supporting Slides for Section 2: Exploring our Universe
    127 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 2 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 6
    Telescopes
    07:15
    This lecture includes a brief history of telescopes, how they work, and some of the cutting-edge innovations used in the telescopes installed in modern astronomical observatories.
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 3.
  • 7
    Observing Limitations
    05:32
    This lecture introduces some of the challenges of observing the universe and discusses the science of telescopes and their limitations, both because of inherent physical characteristics as well as the environments where these observatories are located.
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 14.
  • 8
    Observing Solutions
    09:32
    This lecture explains the science behind some of the amazing innovations used in modern telescopes to overcome the observing limitations introduced in the previous lecture.
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 23.
  • 9
    Adaptive Optics
    05:54
    This lecture will teach you about the science and technology behind the cutting-edge adaptive optics systems used on modern telescopes.  Learn about how astronomers are able to eliminate the atmospheric limitations previously imposed upon ground-based telescopes and produce images that rival space-based observatories.
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 38.
  • 10
    Space Astronomy
    06:52
    In this lecture you will learn about observatories in space.  Find out why space-based telescopes are so important to astronomy, and learn about the science that can only be done above the Earth's atmosphere.
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 57.
  • 11
    Big Glass
    11:36
    This lecture covers the massive telescopes that are used in modern astronomy.  Learn about the growth of telescopes over the last three decades, and the technology that is being used in the construction of the next generation of observatories.  You will also find out about the plans astronomers have for even larger telescopes and some of the technological challenges, as well as the scientific opportunities.
    For those of you who are interested, here is a link to the original vlogbrothers post by Hank Green that we feature in this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihpNNBmJypE
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 91.
  • 12
    Gravity Waves
    13:11
    In this lecture you will learn about the science behind gravity waves, the theoretical predictions, why scientists are confident about their existence, and the amazing gravitational wave observatories that have been constructed to detect them.
    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 5).  This lecture begins on page 110.
  • 13
    Activity for Section 2
    Text
    This is the first activity or "assignment" for the course, and is intended to be done using social media such as Twitter or Facebook, but can be completed via email if you prefer.
  • 14
    Observing and Telescopes
    8 questions
  • 15
    Interview Podcast Links for Section 2
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional, but we hope you enjoy it!
  • 16
    Section 2 Background Reading - Telescopes: A Brief History
    14 pages
    This document is a reading that provides a brief history of telescopes as an overview and summary for Section 2
  • SECTION 3:
    Understanding Our Solar System
  • 17
    Overview - Planetary Exploration
    01:57
    In this section of the course you will learn about the cutting-edge research being done in our own celestial backyard.  We will discuss the missions currently exploring our solar system and the discoveries being made that are helping us understand our own origins as well as the possibilities for life beyond Earth. This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 3: Understanding Our Solar System.
  • 18
    Section 3 Overview Reading
    35 pages
    This document is a reading that provides an overview of the Solar System for Section 3
  • 19
    Supporting Slides for Section 3: Understanding our Solar System
    105 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 3 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 20
    Mars
    10:12

    This lecture covers the recent history of human interest in Mars, the work of Percivall Lowell, and the his contribution to Mars fever and the modern interest in exploring this once wet red planet.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 33.

  • 21
    Mars and Water
    05:01

    In this lecture Professor Impey introduces some of the most exciting discoveries on the planet Mars and describes how we now know that there is water beneath the surface, that it is sometimes liquid, and that Mars was much wetter in the past.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 40.

  • 22
    Mars Up Close
    13:19

    This lecture finishes up the section on modern Mars exploration missions and presents some of the most astounding views of this world that humans have ever seen.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 50.

  • 23
    Jovian Planets
    08:13

    In this lecture we move outward in the solar system to the giant planets.  We will discuss the research that has led to deeper understandings of our own backyard, and the characteristics of the gas giants which are made of the same materials as the Sun.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 66.

  • 24
    Solar System Satellites
    07:02

    This lecture dives more deeply into research on the moons of planets in our solar system.  We will discuss the most recent findings from missions such as Cassini and the reason that astronomers now consider the moons of the gas giants a possible hunting ground for life beyond Earth.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 83.

  • 25
    Titan
    05:12

    This lecture focuses on Saturn's moon Titan and why it is not only a fascinating place to study, but how this dynamic satellite can teach us about our own world, and about the search for life.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 90.

  • 26
    Water Worlds
    06:51

    In this lecture, Professor Impey explains how, and where, water has been found throughout our solar system, in particular on the surface of moons of the giant planets.  The presence of liquid water on these moons has encouraged scientists to consider new and interesting places where life may have developed beyond the warm oceans of Earth-like planets.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 18).  This lecture begins on page 93.

  • 27
    Activity for Section 3
    Text
    For this second activity you will be creating an account with the Zooniverse project and participating in real astronomical research through a series of "citizen science" programs out of The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL.  We will be using Zooniverse for several of the activities throughout this class.
  • 28
    Interview Podcast Links for Section 3
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional, but we hope you enjoy it!
  • SECTION 4:
    Discovering Extra Solar Planets
  • 29
    Overview - Extra Solar Planets
    02:45
    In this section of the course you will learn about the hundreds of planets that have been discovered orbiting other stars.  We will talk about the science behind the search for extra solar planets, the latest discoveries, and the technology and techniques that are being developed to look for Earth-like planets in our galactic neighborhood. This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 4: Discovering Extra Solar Planets.
  • 30
    Section 4 Overview Reading
    20 pages
    This document is a reading that provides an overview of Extra Solar Planets for Section 4.
  • 31
    Supporting Slides for Section 4: Discovering Extra Solar Planets
    87 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 4 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 32
    Exoplanets
    12:09

    This lecture introduces the field of exoplanet research.  How were these planets first discovered?  What are they like?  Find out about the history of this field and what research on exoplanets is teaching us about our own solar system.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 30).  This lecture begins on page 2.

  • 33
    Detection and Imaging
    07:30

    In this lecture you will learn about methods used by astronomers to detect extrasolar planets.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 30).  This lecture begins on page 14.

  • 34
    Characterizing Exoplanets
    05:28

    This lecture explains the science that allows astronomers to learn about the mass, diameter, composition, and atmospheres of extrasolar planets.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 30).  This lecture begins on page 39.

  • 35
    Kepler
    07:06

    In this lecture you will find out about the extremely successful Kepler satellite and learn about the methods has been using to discover hundreds of planets around nearby stars.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 30).  This lecture begins on page 59.

  • 36
    Habitable Zones
    10:33

    This lecture discusses the concept of a "habitable zone" and how astronomers are attempting to determine if an extrasolar planet may have suitable conditions for life.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 30).  This lecture begins on page 72.

  • 37
    Activity for Section 4
    Text
    For this activity you will again be working with the Zooniverse project and participating in real astronomical research through a series of "citizen science" programs out of The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL.
  • 38
    Interview Podcast Links for Section 4
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional, but we hope you enjoy it!
  • SECTION 5:
    Probing Distant Stars
  • 39
    Overview - Stars
    02:31
    In this section of the course you will learn about the lives of stars.  We will talk about processes of star formation and stellar evolution including how stars took hydrogen and helium formed in the Big Bang and created all of the elements on the periodic table.  This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 5: Discovering Probing Distant Stars.
  • 40
    Section 5 Overview Reading
    25 pages
    This document is a reading that provides an overview of stars and the formation of heavy elements for Section 5.
  • 41
    Supporting Slides for Section 5: Probing Distant Stars
    94 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 5 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 42
    Stars and Life
    05:40

    This lecture introduces the topic of stars and how, through the process of nuclear fusion, they create all the elements heavier than hydrogen and helium.  Through the processes of star birth, life, and death, the heavy elements necessary for life were constructed.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 40).  This lecture begins on page 3.

  • 43
    Supernovas
    10:02

    In this lecture you will learn about what happens to stars about 2-3 times more massive than our sun.  You will also learn about research to understand these violent explosions and how astronomers are using computer simulations to model the deaths of stars.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 40).  This lecture begins on page 64.

  • 44
    Pulsars
    13:03

    This lecture covers the topic of pulsars, the leftover cores of stars that explode in supernovas spinning at extreme velocities.  Pulsars are interesting in their own right, but astronomers are also using them as extremely accurate clocks to look for gravity waves.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 40).  This lecture begins on page 72.

  • 45
    Black Holes
    10:06

    In this lecture you will learn about what happens at the end of the life of giant stars many times more massive than the sun.  Black holes are the subject of cutting-edge theoretical, and observational research.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 40).  This lecture begins on page 81.

  • 46
    Testing Gravity
    14:05

    This lecture discusses how stars, and stellar remnants are on the forefront of astronomical research, and how these objects are helping us to understand more about gravity and how it works..

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 40).  This lecture begins on page 88.

  • 47
    Activity for Section 5
    Text
    For this activity you will again be working with the Zooniverse project and participating in real astronomical research through a series of "citizen science" programs out of The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL.
  • 48
    Interview Podcast links for Section 5
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional.
  • SECTION 6:
    Inspecting Other Galaxies
  • 49
    Overview - Structure & Evolution of Galaxies
    02:33
    In this section of the course you will learn about the formation of galaxies and what they have taught us about the universe in which we live.  We will start with our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and move on to a discussion of how galaxies helped us discover Dark Matter.  We will also talk about distant galaxies, black holes, and the mysterious force accelerating the expansion of the universe, Dark Energy.  This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 6: Inspecting Other Galaxies.
  • 50
    Section 6 Overview Reading
    42 pages
    This document is a reading that provides an overview of stars and the formation of heavy elements for Section 6.
  • 51
    Supporting Slides for Section 6: Inspecting Other Galaxies
    99 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 6 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 52
    Milky Way
    05:47

    This lecture introduces you to the galaxy we call home: the Milky Way.  We will discuss how the study of our own home galaxy has led us to amazing discoveries about the nature of the universe, and provided us with a framework to understand the billions of other galaxies that make up our universe.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 50).  This lecture begins on page 3.

  • 53
    Dark Matter
    16:40

    In this lecture we will describe how the study of galaxies provided a first glimpse at the existence of dark matter which we now know makes up the vast majority of the matter in the universe.  More recent studies of galaxy clusters and gravitational lensing have given astronomers a clearer picture of the properties and location of dark matter.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 50).  This lecture begins on page 19.

  • 54
    Galactic Center
    09:09

    In this lecture we will explore the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  The center of our own galaxy is many times closer than any other and by studying the center of our own Milky Way, we can begin to understand what is going on in the nuclei of other galaxies.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 50).  This lecture begins on page 30.

  • 55
    Active Galaxies
    17:25

    This lecture talks about active galaxies, quasars, and other extraordinary astronomical phenomena.  Follow along as Profesor Impey talks about the exciting discoveries that led to the discovery of supermassive black holes in distant galaxies, and provided insight into the nature of galaxy evolution.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 50).  This lecture begins on page 52.

  • 56
    Structure Formation
    14:57

    In this lecture we will find out how dark matter has shaped the large scale structure of the universe, and how the dynamics of galaxy formation and galaxy cluster formation is being modeled on the most powerful supercomputers on the planet.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 50).  This lecture begins on page 72.

  • 57
    Dark Energy
    10:57

    The last lecture in this section covers the enigmatic phenomena of dark energy.  Discovered just two decades ago, dark energy makes up most of the mass-energy content of our universe and has pushed the expansion of the universe into a phase of acceleration that will lead to a gradual shrinking of our view of the distant universe, and eventually a cold dark end.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 50).  This lecture begins on page 84.

  • 58
    Activity for Section 6
    Text
    For this activity you will again be working with the Zooniverse project and participating in real astronomical research through a series of "citizen science" programs out of The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, IL, but this time we will be testing out a new group feature that lets us work together!  Thanks for your help.
  • 59
    Interview Podcast Links for Section 6
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional.
  • SECTION 7:
    Examining the Cosmos
  • 60
    Overview - Cosmology
    03:49
    In this section of the course we will cover some of the big questions about the nature and formation of the universe.  This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 7: Examining the Cosmos.
  • 61
    Section 7 Overview Reading
    25 pages
    This document is a reading that provides an overview of cosmology and the Big Bang for Section 7.
  • 62
    Supporting Slides for Section 7: Examining the Cosmos
    105 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 7 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 63
    Cosmology
    09:04

    This lecture introduces you to Cosmology: The study of the Universe.  We will cover a bit of history, some terminology, and the evidence supporting our current interpretation of the formation of the universe: The Big Bang.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 61).  This lecture begins on page 33.

  • 64
    Microwave Background
    13:22

    In this lecture we discuss the earliest light in the universe, the cosmic microwave background.  Not only will we discuss how it was discovered, but we will also talk about what it tells us about the current state of the universe, and how it formed.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 61).  This lecture begins on page 42.

  • 65
    Big Bang
    14:12

    This lecture discusses what we know about the beginning of the universe.  Through observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) astronomers and physicists have been able to figure out what happened in the first microseconds of the Big Bang.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 61).  This lecture begins on page 53.

  • 66
    Early Universe
    17:51

    In this lecture we will cover what happened in the universe just after the Big Bang.  What was the universe made of?  What was it doing?  How did stars and galaxies begin?  These questions and others will be answered in this video.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 61).  This lecture begins on page 65.

  • 67
    The Multiverse
    16:11

    There has been speculation that the conditions that led to the formation of our universe could have led to others with properties and conditions very different from the one we inhabit.  This lecture discusses some of the most cutting-edge and speculative ideas about the history and formation of our universe, and the possibility that it exists along with many others!

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 61).  This lecture begins on page 93.

  • 68
    Interview Podcast Links for Section 7
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional.
  • SECTION 8:
    Uncovering Evidence For Life
  • 69
    Overview - Life and Astrobiology
    04:15
    This section of the course covers astrobiology and the possibilities of life beyond our planet, and beyond our solar system as well as some speculation about intelligent life and communication with extraterrestrial life.  This video provides an overview of the topics that will be covered in Section 8: Uncovering Evidence For Life.
  • 70
    Supporting Slides for Section 8: Uncovering Evidence For Life
    126 pages
    This document contains supporting slides for all of the video lectures in Section 8 (individual lecture titles are indicated by the blue headings).  It also contains "extra" slides for in-between topics that aren't directly covered in the class.  This extra material has been included to give students who don't have as much background in astronomy (or who might be interested in these other topics) additional information that might be helpful for understanding the content contained in the video lectures.
  • 71
    Section 8 Overview Reading
    41 pages
    This document is a reading that provides an overview of the search for intelligent life for Section 8.
  • 72
    The Unity of Life
    14:14

    This lecture introduces some background on biology and biochemistry.  We will discuss DNA, RNA, information storage, and provide some background for thinking about systems and how this is important for understanding life.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 69).  This lecture begins on page 10.

  • 73
    Extremophiles
    06:05

    This lecture covers the topic of extremophiles, or organisms that live in conditions of extreme temperature, radiation, or other environmental conditions.  We will discuss how studying these organisms on Earth helps us to understand more about the conditions where life can exist beyond or planet or beyond or solar system.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 69).  This lecture begins on page 24.

  • 74
    Exobiology
    05:02

    In this lecture we will discuss how humans have, for centuries, speculated about life beyond Earth and how it is possible for scientists to speculate usefully about life that may exist on other planets, but has yet to be discovered.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 69).  This lecture begins on page 33.

  • 75
    Weird Life
    07:53

    In this lecture we will talk about the evolution of life on earth, and introduce some ways that astrobiologists have speculated that live beyond Earth could be different from what we find on our planet.   With an understanding of life on Earth, it is possible to organize the weird ways that life could be different from what we see here.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 69).  This lecture begins on page 71.

  • 76
    Drake Equation
    08:11

    This lecture introduces the Drake equation and explains both why it is useful for speculating about intelligent life beyond Earth, and how it is providing a framework for scientists to identify and narrow down the parameters in order to help make a more evidence-based estimate of the number of civilizations in our galaxy.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 69).  This lecture begins on page 82.

  • 77
    Communication
    19:59

    In this lecture we discuss the possibilities for communicating with intelligent species beyond our solar system, attempts that have been made, and how advances in technology are changing the ways we think about communication and searching for signals.  Finally, we will discuss the famous question posed by physicist Enrico Fermi "Where are They" and some possible answers.

    If you would like to follow along with the slides (download the supporting slides pdf file above in lecture 69).  This lecture begins on page 90.

  • 78
    Interview Podcast Links for Section 8
    Text
    This text document contains links to audio interviews (podcasts) with experts in fields related to the section topic.  This material is supplementary and optional.

UDEMY BY THE NUMBERS

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RATING

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AVERAGE RATING
NUMBER OF RATINGS
303

REVIEWS

  • Kevin Davidson
    !st trip Into the world Of Astronomy

    Lots of good stuff in here.

  • Rob Byrne
    Rob's review

    The pace, content and presentation are pretty-well perfect for me.

  • Likhitha B
    Exemplary upstart for space fanatics

    Space enthusiasts who want to know to have a best introduction to universe collaborated with all facts, historic discoveries and unresolved mysteries with inherent blend of humour; this course is a perfect head-start. Because of the brief up Professor Chris Impey has provided, further study relating to the subject becomes quite easy. I being space aficionado found it very handy. Sir, I am extremely grateful to you and you indeed left me indebted. Being strongly determined in pursuing astronomy as my career, this course acted as a robust foundation. Anyone waiting to get a sound astronomical background cannot afford to miss this. It’s high time you kick start the course. All the Best!

  • Josef Leimer
    A real milestone in the teaching of astronomy

    Professor Impey’s “Astronomy - State of the Art” is a real milestone in the teaching of astronomy - probably the best introduction to astronomy that you can find on the web. The longer I deal with this course the more I’m fascinated by its content.

  • Designation Brad Winborg
    Excellent Tutorial

    For me it was extremely interesting, while being scientific and staying true to any university course. I was an Astronomy major with only two classes needed to conclude my BS degree from major university. This tutorial was as good as allot of the classes I took while in school.

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