Astronomy: Discovering the Universe

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Course Date: 11 August 2014 to 09 September 2014

Price: free

Course Summary

What was the Big Bang? How do black holes work? Could there be life elsewhere in the Universe? In this course we’ll address those topics, as well as gaining some insight into how great scientific discoveries were made, and what's involved in scientific research. We'll also look at the vital role that new technology plays in scientific discoveries. We'll talk to scientists about their role in the development of largest telescope in the history of astronomy: the Square Kilometre array.

Course Instructors

Dr. John Morgan

John is a researcher and lecturer at Curtin University. Curtin University's astronomy research is highly focussed on the international effort to build the most powerful radio telescope ever: the Square Kilometre Array.In addition to his research, John also teaches introductory astronomy. He has a strong background in science communication and is passionate about making his subject accessible to everyone.

Course Description

What's it about?

What was the Big Bang? How do black holes work? Could there be life elsewhere in the Universe? In this course we’ll address those topics, as well as gaining some insight into how great scientific discoveries were made, and what's involved in scientific research.

What was the Big Bang? How do black holes work? Could there be life elsewhere in the Universe? In this course we’ll address those topics, as well as gaining some insight into how great scientific discoveries were made, and what's involved in scientific research.

We'll also look at the vital role that new technology plays in scientific discoveries. We'll talk to scientists about their role in the development of largest telescope in the history of astronomy: the Square Kilometre array.

What's involved?

Module 1Great Discoveries In Astronomy
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment11 Aug - 17 Aug
Module 2Unlocking The Secrets Of The Universe: How we do science
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment18 Aug - 24 Aug
Module 3Building The World's Largest Science Experiment
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment25 Aug - 31 Aug
Module 4Answering Big Questions With The Square Kilometre Array
7 videos, 6 quizzes, 1 assessment1 Sep - 7 Sep

What will I learn?

  • How people over the ages have tried to understand the world around them
  • How we have developed our current picture of the Universe
  • What the Universe looks like on different scales - from the Earth and the Solar System right up to the largest-scale structure of the universe
  • Key theories in astronomy and the key individuals behind them
  • How the universe has evolved and what new discoveries we are finding through the use of new technologies
  • Some insight into the big questions we hope to find answers for, such as whether we are alone in the universe

This course requires approximately 2 - 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments. The total video time for this course is approximately 2 hours 42 minutes.

If you pass this course you'll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn't a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Where to from here?

If you love this course, why not take your studies further? Here are some accredited qualifications that could help you achieve your goals.

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Astronomer

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