Course Summary


Unit 1 - The Sun

In this unit we look at what the Sun is, what it consists of, and how it functions. We examine its interior, its surface and its atmosphere and we look at how it originated, evolved and how it will end.

Unit 2 - The Earth

The Earth is a planet and a study of it helps us to understand the origin and evolution of the rest of the Solar System. We look at the Earth’s formation and development and some of its features we can observe.

Unit 3 - The Moon

A question puzzling astronomers is where did it come from. Again we examine its formation and development and some of its features, especially phases, tides and eclipses.

Unit 4 - The Solar System

Here we look at the remaining planets and their diversity, as well as asteroids, comets, meteors and Kuiper Belt objects such as Eris and now Pluto.

Unit 5 - The Stars

We examine the wealth of information we are able to obtain from a twinkling light far off in space. We look at binary stars and variable stars. We also look at how stars are born, develop and die which leads us to consider white dwarfs, supernovae, pulsars and black holes.

Unit 6 - Clusters And Nebulae

Astronomers of the 17th Century were puzzled by the many faint fuzzy objects they found with their primitive telescopes. In this unit we examine these huge clusters of stars and also the even larger clouds of dust and gas where new stars are continually being born.

Unit 7 - The Galaxies

We live inside one so we have a close look at our own Milky Way. Then we consider the main types including those the result of galactic collisions and those we call quasars.

Unit 8 - The Universe

Here we look at the nature and features of the Universe and consider its origin, evolution and ultimate fate. We look at the Big Bang Theory and review some of its problems.