Weekly study3 hours
In the Night Sky: Orion
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From the basics of astronomy and stargazing, to the science behind the birth of a star, this four week course will change the way you see the night sky. You’ll examine one of the most famous constellations, Orion, who the Ancient Greeks believed was a huntsman placed among the stars by Zeus himself.
Starting with its famous nebula where new stars and planets are being formed, you’ll take a look at the seven brightest stars that make up this constellation, including the supergiants Rigel and Betelgeuse, using high-quality images from telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope.
You’ll find out about exoplanets, planets that orbit other stars just as we orbit the Sun and may hold the secrets to life outside of the solar system. Finally you’ll think about the Milky Way, the galaxy of which our solar system is but one small part, and consider the history of the universe from the Big Bang to the present.
All Open University Science MOOCs presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.
- Observing and photographing the night sky
- Constellations and Orion in particular
- Star formation and stellar evolution
- Nuclear fusion in stars
- Supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes
- The Milky Way and other Galaxies
- The Big Bang and the evolution of the Universe
- Dark matter & dark energy
- The Solar System, especially asteroids and comets
- Planets around other stars
Date to be announced
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Apply facts, concepts, principles, theories, classification systems and language used in astronomy.
- Develop the knowledge and understanding of the range of sizes, distances and motions of objects in the night sky.
- Develop the knowledge and understanding of the structure, evolution and the main processes operating in stars.
- Develop the knowledge and understanding of the properties of planets in our Solar System and exoplanetary systems.
- Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of the history of the Universe.
Who is the course for?
You do not need a professional telescope for this course, but you may find at least a pair of binoculars extremely useful.
No prior experience of the subject is required.
Who developed the course?
LocationMilton Keynes, UK
World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020
Endorsers and supporters
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