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Thread: Astronomy 101 free online.

  1. #1
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    Astronomy 101 free online.

    Where do I find it? Not interested in paper. just want to know everything an astronomer would know. Are there any free online courses? Wikipedia is a tad unreliable.

  2. #2
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    Penn State. As near as I can tell, this is a for credit course that you must register for, however, you can view the course material without registering.
    Solfe

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmologist View Post
    ...just want to know everything an astronomer would know...
    I just noticed this line. "Everything an astronomer could know" is a huge topic of study. You are looking at anything from just a 4 year degree to multiple Ph.D's. Every astronomer is different.

    EDIT = http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthre...ffered-by-Duke
    Solfe

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I'll search for the link. Always wondered why those courses are so long. It will be fascinating to read the content summary. How to operate a telescope. Star sequences. Constellations. Can't imagine how they stretch it out to 4 years. The math is going to be hellishly complex I suppose.

  5. #5
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    Math, physics, chemistry, methodology, etc. are going to add up to a lot of credits. Typically, high school students will max out at Calculus or Pre-Calc, maybe some physics and some chemistry. You would be looking at 2 or 3 semesters to get those up to a level where you could minor in astronomy. An astronomy major has many more hurdles.

    I would imagine that many astronomers "flavor" their college experience with electives in history, software skills, programing, and so on before graduating with a 4 year degree.
    Solfe

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmologist View Post
    It will be fascinating to read the content summary. How to operate a telescope. Star sequences. Constellations. Can't imagine how they stretch it out to 4 years.
    It's got to be way more than that unless you have an eidetic memory and never make a mental mistake.

    Statistics, numerical analysis, better pick up a modicum of programming on the way. Classical mechanics and statistical physics, atomic physics at least, nuclear physics if you plan to work on stellar interiors, supernovae,or early-Universe cosmology. Preparing someone past a bachelor's degree to read the research literature on galaxies is a full-term course (at least to my satisfaction), and so are galactic dynamics, observational techniques, stellar evolution... To my surprise, a lot of people get out of undergrad programs in physics and astronomy without what I think of as adequate online information-harvesting skills, so we have to cover that too. And then there's plasma astrophysics, which is a whole different world yet.

    How hard can it be? I suspect contemporary astronomy isn't what that post suggested.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Penn State. As near as I can tell, this is a for credit course that you must register for, however, you can view the course material without registering.
    Interesting link, thanks!

  8. #8
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    Here is an astronomy couse from Duke University. It doesn't start for a couple more months, but it looks interesting and I've already registered.

  9. #9
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    You can find several courses I teach on-line for free. No credit, but all the material is there. I'll list them in order of sophistication (or something).

    Introductory stellar astronomy
    Introductory extragalactic astronomy and cosmology
    Introductory stellar astronomy with more math
    Observational astronomy
    Stellar astrophysics
    Advanced extragalactic astronomy

  10. #10
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    found a nice one on youtube if you not bothered about credits
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO7qvAETCMs
    its nice as it uses wiki as the course material, so as free as it gets

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. The net should be more educational. Like television it seems to be mostly junk. The only attempt at information gathering has been wikipedia and thats as reliable as a politicians promise.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmologist View Post
    just want to know everything an astronomer would know.
    101 won't do that. In fact you'd get more out of watching the old Carl Sagan episodes of Cosmos on YouTube...

  13. #13
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    I have not browsed the site myself, but it contains a full textbook as well as many images and other resources. And it's free.

    http://www.teachastronomy.com/

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