Astronomy - State of the Art

Join Prof. Chris Impey in this Astronomy for beginners course and learn about today's amazing astronomical discoveries!
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4,650 ratings)
119,944 students
7hr 23min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

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.


  • Interest in Astronomy


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.

Who this course is for:

  • Everyone
  • Amateur Astronomers
  • Planetarium Educators
  • Science Center and Museum Educators
  • Science Teachers
  • Astronomy Instructors
  • Students of Astronomy


University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona
Chris Impey
  • 4.6 Instructor Rating
  • 4,650 Reviews
  • 119,997 Students
  • 1 Course

Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Associate Dean of the College of Science. His research is on observational cosmology, gravitational lensing, and the evolution and structure of galaxies. He has over 180 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 seven popular science books: The Living Cosmos (2007, Random House), How It Ends (2010, Norton), How It Began (2012, Norton), Talking About Life (2010, Cambridge), Dreams of Other Worlds (2011, Princeton), Humble Before the Void (2012, Templeton), and Beyond (2013, Norton). 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.

Educational Program Manager at Steward Observatory
Matthew Wenger
  • 4.6 Instructor Rating
  • 4,650 Reviews
  • 119,997 Students
  • 1 Course

Matthew is an educational program manager with Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona and has more than 20 years of experience in informal science education and free-choice learning. He received his PhD in astronomy education and completed a postdoctoral position in free-choice learning at Oregon State University.

In addition to coordinating the development of astronomy MOOCs and conducting educational research at the University of Arizona, Matthew manages the production of educational videos for the YouTube channel "Active Galactic Videos" and oversees the development of instructional materials and tools for the website Teach Astronomy.

Martin Formanek
  • 4.6 Instructor Rating
  • 4,650 Reviews
  • 119,997 Students
  • 1 Course

Member of prof Impey's Educational Research group since 2015. Teaching Assistant at the University of Arizona since 2013. Master degree from Charles University in Prague in theoretical Physics.

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