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Introduction to Astronomy

Duke University via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Astronomy
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Finished
  • Language English
  • Certificate Certificate Available
  • Effort 6-12 hours a week
  • Start Date

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In this class, we will be studying, quite literally, everything in the universe.  We will start with "classical" astronomy, describing the night sky and organizing what we see as was done in ancient times.  We will then embark on a journey, starting here on Earth and progressing outward, to study the Solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the wonderful and strange objects we observe in deep space, such as black holes, quasars, and supernovae.  We will end with some discussion of what scientists know today about the universe as a whole.  Along the way we will introduce some of the methods, theoretical and experimental, that have been used to understand all of this, from Newton's laws, through our understanding of light and matter, to Einstein's theory of relativity, and from Galileo's telescope to WMAP.

Taught by

Ronen Plesser

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Reviews for Coursera's Introduction to Astronomy
3.4 Based on 15 reviews

  • 5 stars 47%
  • 4 stars 13%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 stars 13%
  • 1 stars 27%

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  • 1
Anonymous
2.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Sorry cannot like this class. The lectures are good to watch, and the Professor is enthusiastic about his subject, but the homeworks have little in common with the videos you've just watched. I was spending 20 hours on the homework alone. The homework is unproductive time and you really learn little from it. At week 4/5 I decided to walk away, because I'd frankly had enough. I have strong College Physics, College Maths, Alegbra etc... I even have Intro Astronomy and Stars & Galaxies (6 credits), and hold a Bachelors degree - science major. However the homework questions are set to trip you…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
2.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I have a poor experience with this course. The instructor was difficult to listen and understand. The instructor did not seem to be aware of his speech pattern which made the course difficult to learn. I have to agree with previous reviewer, the homework has nothing to do with lectures and seems to be there to discourage students. The worst part is, I feel I could complete this course with little trouble, except I was not given the tools to complete the work. I have a science degree and I am very interested in the subject. I am very disappointed in this course.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great class! Started out by describing the principles of navigation/locating astronomical features, then went into describing the solar system. Before long, we were deep into astronomical physics and my concept of matter and the universe had changed.

This class is very math-centered, but requires no more than basic algebra. Expect to be 'drinking from a firehose', and expect to have your notions of space, time, and matter irreversibly altered!
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
1.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I just finished this so-called class (got a grade of 100% of homework assignments) and now I regret I spent so much time on this kind of "teachings". For professional this teacher made awful lot of factual mistakes. There was course correction section, where some of it was revealed - every week he did dozens of serious factual mistakes (that's not even mentioning how much logical mistakes he did). The main problem of this class is lack of logic: most of the time you will struggle trying to understand what he means, how it relates to the subject, why the hell is it... It is amusing ho…
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This class was very challenging and not for everyone, but the professor was one of the most enthusiastic lecturers that I ever experienced (live or online). I went to Duke as an undergraduate many years ago, and I felt that the quality of the Coursera class was comparable to those that I took while in college. The professor's online interaction, ample help from the TA and other students, and a flexible quiz structure helped me to succeed in this class. If you are interested in astrophysics you will learn a lot from this course.
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Virendra V
5.0 3 years ago
Virendra partially completed this course.
Worked through all but the last two sessions due to my personal other commitments. Wonderful course. Challenging concepts and homework. You get a lot of satisfaction and clear the concepts after completing the assignments which are based on the equations introduced in the lectures. It helps if one has knowledge and understanding of elementary math as it is not a course in which one just passively listens to the lectures.

Highly recommended ..
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This was a terrific course. I will not pretend it was easy because it wasn't. It required a lot of time to do the homeworks but worth it as they consolidated the teachings. The forums were very active and the staff and TAs were prepared to coach us through the difficult parts. It is possible to enjoy this course without doing the homeworks but if you are not afraid of hard work then the greatest benefit comes from doing it all.
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Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course requires a background in Mathematics too. The previous reviewers could not connect the lectures with the quizzes, but I could. The teacher is quite enthusiastic about his subject and the TAs are quite helpful. Yes, the level of difficulty of quizzes was quite high, but I had a wonderful time solving them.
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Anon A
1.0 4 years ago
by Anon partially completed this course.
Enthusiastic teacher. Very hard. Homeworks did not follow lessons. Did not learn much. Withdrew from course. Probably useful for someone with some experience or who is doing astronomy courses. Do not recommend.
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Anonymous
1.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Disappointed by the same reasons as 3 previous reviewers here. Wouldn't recommend this class or this teacher, especially to someone new in astronomy or physics.
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Anonymous
1.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Dissapointed, bought software on recommendation of course, then never required to use it, course suggestion is 8-12 hours a week, takes an average
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Anonymous
5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
awesome knowledge, interesting video lectures and hard/challenging homework
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Marat M
5.0 3 years ago
by Marat partially completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
0 person found
this review helpful
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Tonolmo T
4.0 3 years ago
by Tonolmo completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Heey H
4.0 2 years ago
by Heey partially completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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