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6 Best Online Resources for Studying Astronomy

By Mike Walker

Those looking to study astronomy as a career or are in it as a hobby have plenty of online resources at their disposal. Astronomy is the study of the universe, including all objects and phenomena happening in space. This means learning about planets, stars, and outer space.

Astronomy could be learned through classes in school, recourse books, and space enthusiast clubs. However, these could be pricey and hard to come by, especially for those who live in remote areas. Fortunately, online classes are a great alternative to studying astronomy. Find out the best online resources for learning this brand of science below.


1. Stars, Black Holes, and Galaxies

Khan Academy created this comprehensive online course. As the name suggests, it will focus solely on stars, black holes, and galaxies. It starts with a detailed guide on how stars are formed and born. It follows the star life cycle, taking an in-depth look at special ones like the red giants, supernovas, and white dwarves.

A discussion on black holes and their different variants are explored, giving students a thorough understanding of the topic. This course also includes a unit on Cepheid variables and parallax. By the end of this course, students can master these topics. They can even apply to write for the Studyfy essay writing service because they've become proficient. Or they can get help from the same; it's a win-win scenario.

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: A 4-hour video
  • Start Date: Anytime with materials accessible after enrollment
  • Site: Khan Academy

2. Super-Earths and Life

This online program is available at the edX program of Harvard University. The program focuses on life in the entire universe, including earth and possible life on other planets. This takes an in-depth look at Earth and how it was structured and formed. An assessment of how life grows and thrives is also tackled.

Furthermore, a study of other planets is conducted, especially those with similar environments to Mother Earth which could potentially host life. This course combines astronomy with geology and biography. It takes a strong slant towards the idea that other life forms may be in other parts of the universe. It's an excellent introductory program for those eager to determine if other entities exist.

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 7 weeks for 5 to 8 hours per week
  • Start Date: Anytime with materials accessible after enrollment
  • Site: Harvard edX

3. Question Reality: The Cosmos

Those fascinated with the physics of the sky will enjoy this online program. It tackles philosophies and worldviews even from ancient civilizations. It goes back to the time of Copernicus, Galileo, Aristotle, and Plato, giving students a strong foundation on the evolution of the cosmos.

Students who immerse themselves in this program will understand what the scientific method is as well as the limitations behind the process. Furthermore, apart from looking at history, this will tackle modern cosmology ideas, including different mysteries and various experiments behind today's most common theories.

  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: approximately 13 hours to complete
  • Start Date: December 9 with flexible deadlines
  • Site: Dartmouth

4. From Big Bang to Dark Energy

This online program tackles how the universe has evolved since the inception of the Big Bang Theory. Now, more than 80% of what's present in the universe is made up of what's called mysterious dark matter. This element is said to stimulate the formation of stars and galaxies. This exciting course tackles these exciting concepts.

Although this program is from Japan, the course is offered in English. Everyone enthusiastic to know more about the expansion of the universe and the dark energy surrounding it is invited to participate in the program. Evidence and discoveries will be shared during the online learning sessions.

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Duration: Approximately 31 hours
  • Start Date: December 9 with flexible deadlines
  • Site: The University of Tokyo

5. Data-Driven Astronomy

Astronomy is leading the way as science undergoes a massive data explosion. And that's not surprising because high-tech telescopes produce terabytes of valuable data per observation. Furthermore, supercomputers go beyond their limits when astronomers create simulations to observe and record the universe. Hence, this course was formulated to help analyze data, especially massive datasets.

Students will learn how to work with algorithms to manage scientific data effectively. In addition, they are taught how to evaluate data with machine learning tools like Python 3, which is astronomy's programming language. Each week, an astronomy expert gives a comprehensive interview. This course is geared toward scientists, students, or enthusiasts who want in-depth knowledge of how astronomy works, from investigating different types of galaxies to exploring pulsars.

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Duration: 6 weeks program
  • Start Date: December 9 with flexible deadlines
  • Site: The University of Sydney

6. The Science of the Solar System

Those who want to explore the solar system will learn more by taking this free class from Caltech. This is a renowned science, engineering, and education institution where the best minds convene to answer complex questions, learn new knowledge, and forge innovation for a better and brighter future. This specific course is used to comprehend the outer solar system, including planets and beyond.

Students who sign up for the course are assumed to have prior knowledge of physics and math. Being well-versed in these topics will make the course more enjoyable. This online program gives tests and a final exam to assess critical thinking skills. They're more on applying theories learned instead of just memorizing facts.

  • Level: Advanced
  • Duration: approximately 30 hours to complete
  • Start Date: December 9 with flexible deadlines
  • Site: Caltech

Final Thoughts
Those naturally curious about astronomy will find many resources online to feed their thirst for knowledge. The foundation of this branch of science started with these questions. Even before the invention of modern instruments like the telescope, ancient scientists managed to study and track noticeable patterns and changes in space. Thus, there's no excuse why today's modern astronomers cannot do it.

This list of online resources is not exhaustive, but the recommended courses will surely fuel the passion of those who love this topic. All that one needs to learn more is time and the commitment to do the online exercises. With diligence, anyone can be proficient in this field. Indeed, knowledge is power.

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