Astronomy - State of the Art

Join Prof. Chris Impey in this Astronomy for beginners course and learn about today's amazing astronomical discoveries!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (3,792 ratings)
94,769 students
Astronomy - State of the Art
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (3,792 ratings)
94,769 students
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.

Requirements

  • Interest in Astronomy
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.

Who this course is for:
  • Everyone
  • Amateur Astronomers
  • Planetarium Educators
  • Science Center and Museum Educators
  • Science Teachers
  • Astronomy Instructors
  • Students of Astronomy
Course content
8 sections • 77 lectures • 23h 21m total length
  • Course Overview
    1 page
  • Course Description
    01:54
  • Welcome to Astronomy - State of the Art
    04:32
  • Overview - State of the Art Observing
    02:24
  • Supporting Slides for Section 2: Exploring our Universe
    127 pages
  • Telescopes
    07:15
  • Observing Limitations
    05:32
  • Observing Solutions
    09:32
  • Adaptive Optics
    05:54
  • Space Astronomy
    06:52
  • Big Glass
    11:36
  • Gravity Waves
    13:11
  • Activity for Section 2
    01:55
  • Observing and Telescopes
    8 questions
  • Interview Podcast Links for Section 2
    00:24
  • Section 2 Background Reading - Telescopes: A Brief History
    14 pages
  • Overview - Planetary Exploration
    01:57
  • Section 3 Overview Reading
    35 pages
  • Supporting Slides for Section 3: Understanding our Solar System
    105 pages
  • Mars
    10:12
  • Mars and Water
    05:01
  • Mars Up Close
    13:19
  • Jovian Planets
    08:13
  • Solar System Satellites
    07:02
  • Titan
    05:12
  • Water Worlds
    06:51
  • Activity for Section 3
    02:10
  • Interview Podcast Links for Section 3
    00:26
  • Overview - Extra Solar Planets
    02:45
  • Section 4 Overview Reading
    20 pages
  • Supporting Slides for Section 4: Discovering Extra Solar Planets
    87 pages
  • Exoplanets
    12:09
  • Detection and Imaging
    07:30
  • Characterizing Exoplanets
    05:28
  • Kepler
    07:06
  • Habitable Zones
    10:33
  • Activity for Section 4
    01:22
  • Interview Podcast Links for Section 4
    00:31
  • Overview - Stars
    02:31
  • Section 5 Overview Reading
    25 pages
  • Supporting Slides for Section 5: Probing Distant Stars
    94 pages
  • Stars and Life
    05:40
  • Supernovas
    10:02
  • Pulsars
    13:03
  • Black Holes
    10:06
  • Testing Gravity
    14:05
  • Activity for Section 5
    01:20
  • Interview Podcast links for Section 5
  • Overview - Structure & Evolution of Galaxies
    02:33
  • Section 6 Overview Reading
    42 pages
  • Supporting Slides for Section 6: Inspecting Other Galaxies
    99 pages
  • Milky Way
    05:47
  • Dark Matter
    16:40
  • Galactic Center
    09:09
  • Active Galaxies
    17:25
  • Structure Formation
    14:57
  • Dark Energy
    10:57
  • Activity for Section 6
    01:14
  • Interview Podcast Links for Section 6
  • Overview - Cosmology
    03:49
  • Section 7 Overview Reading
    25 pages
  • Supporting Slides for Section 7: Examining the Cosmos
    105 pages
  • Cosmology
    09:04
  • Microwave Background
    13:22
  • Big Bang
    14:12
  • Early Universe
    17:51
  • The Multiverse
    16:11
  • Interview Podcast Links for Section 7
    00:32
  • Overview - Life and Astrobiology
    04:15
  • Supporting Slides for Section 8: Uncovering Evidence For Life
    126 pages
  • Section 8 Overview Reading
    41 pages
  • The Unity of Life
    14:14
  • Extremophiles
    06:05
  • Exobiology
    05:02
  • Weird Life
    07:53
  • Drake Equation
    08:11
  • Communication
    19:59
  • Interview Podcast Links for Section 8
    00:32

Instructors
University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona
Chris Impey
  • 4.5 Instructor Rating
  • 3,792 Reviews
  • 94,822 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
  • 4.5 Instructor Rating
  • 3,792 Reviews
  • 94,822 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
  • 4.5 Instructor Rating
  • 3,792 Reviews
  • 94,822 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.