Topic outline

• ASTRONOMY COURSE

This comprehensive course contains 30 sections with 185 self-grading lessons, including final assessments. The first section is an introduction, without a final assessment, therefore both sections one and two are available to try for free.

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• Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy - Final Assessment

This is the final assessment for Observing the Sky: The Birth of Astronomy. (Available when you subscribe.)

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• Orbits and Gravity

3.1 The Laws of Planetary Motion

3.2 Newton’s Great Synthesis
3.3 Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation
3.4 Orbits in the Solar System
3.5 Motions of Satellites and Spacecraft
3.6 Gravity with More Than Two Bodies
Final Assessment

• Earth, Moon, and Sky

4.1 Earth and Sky
4.2 The Seasons
4.3 Keeping Time
4.4 The Calendar
4.5 Phases and Motions of the Moon
4.6 Ocean Tides and the Moon
4.7 Eclipses of the Sun and Moon
Final Assessment

• Radiation and Spectra

5.1 The Behavior of Light
5.2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
5.3 Spectroscopy in Astronomy
5.4 The Structure of the Atom
5.5 Formation of Spectral Lines
5.6 The Doppler Effect
Final Assessment

• Astronomical Instruments

6.1 Telescopes
6.2 Telescopes Today
6.3 Visible-Light Detectors and Instruments
6.5 Observations outside Earth’s Atmosphere
6.6 The Future of Large Telescopes
Final Assessment

• Other Worlds: An Introduction to the Solar System

7.1 Overview of Our Planetary System
7.2 Composition and Structure of Planets
7.3 Dating Planetary Surfaces
7.4 Origin of the Solar System
Final Assessment

• Earth as a Planet

8.1 The Global Perspective
8.2 Earth’s Crust
8.3 Earth’s Atmosphere
8.4 Life, Chemical Evolution, and Climate Change
8.5 Cosmic Influences on the Evolution of Earth
Final Assessment

• Cratered Worlds

9.1 General Properties of the Moon
9.2 The Lunar Surface
9.3 Impact Craters
9.4 The Origin of the Moon
9.5 Mercury
Final Assessment

• Earthlike Planets: Venus and Mars

10.1 The Nearest Planets: An Overview
10.2 The Geology of Venus
10.3 The Massive Atmosphere of Venus
10.4 The Geology of Mars
10.5 Water and Life on Mars
10.6 Divergent Planetary Evolution
Final Assessment

• The Giant Planets

11.1 Exploring the Outer Planets
11.2 The Giant Planets
11.3 Atmospheres of the Giant Planets
Final Assessment

• Rings, Moons, and Pluto

12.1 Ring and Moon Systems Introduced
12.2 The Galilean Moons of Jupiter
12.3 Titan and Triton
12.4 Pluto and Charon
12.5 Planetary Rings
Final Assessment

• Comets and Asteroids: Debris of the Solar System

13.1 Asteroids
13.2 Asteroids and Planetary Defense
13.3 The “Long-Haired” Comets
13.4 The Origin and Fate of Comets and Related Objects
Final Assessment

• Cosmic Samples and the Origin of the Solar System

14.1 Meteors
14.2 Meteorites: Stones from Heaven
14.3 Formation of the Solar System
14.4 Comparison with Other Planetary Systems
14.5 Planetary Evolution
Final Assessment

• The Sun: A Garden-Variety Star

15.1 The Structure and Composition of the Sun
15.2 The Solar Cycle
15.3 Solar Activity above the Photosphere
15.4 Space Weather
Final Assessment

• The Sun: A Nuclear Powerhouse

16.1 Sources of Sunshine: Thermal and Gravitational Energy
16.2 Mass, Energy, and the Theory of Relativity
16.3 The Solar Interior: Theory
16.4 The Solar Interior: Observations
Final Assessment

• Analyzing Starlight

17.1 The Brightness of Stars
17.2 Colors of Stars
17.3 The Spectra of Stars (and Brown Dwarfs)
17.4 Using Spectra to Measure Stellar Radius, Composition, and Motion
Final Assessment

• The Stars: A Celestial Census

18.1 A Stellar Census
18.2 Measuring Stellar Masses
18.3 Diameters of Stars
18.4 The H–R Diagram
Final Assessment

• Celestial Distances

19.1 Fundamental Units of Distance
19.2 Surveying the Stars
19.3 Variable Stars: One Key to Cosmic Distances
19.4 The H–R Diagram and Cosmic Distances
Final Assessment

• Between the Stars: Gas and Dust in Space

20.1 The Interstellar Medium
20.2 Interstellar Gas
20.3 Cosmic Dust
20.4 Cosmic Rays
20.5 The Life Cycle of Cosmic Material
20.6 Interstellar Matter around the Sun
Final Assessment

• The Birth of Stars and the Discovery of Planets outside the Solar System

21.1 Star Formation
21.2 The H–R Diagram and the Study of Stellar Evolution
21.3 Evidence That Planets Form around Other Stars
21.4 Planets beyond the Solar System: Search and Discovery
21.5 Exoplanets Everywhere: What We Are Learning
21.6 New Perspectives on Planet Formation
Final Assessment

• Stars from Adolescence to Old Age

22.1 Evolution from the Main Sequence to Red Giants
22.2 Star Clusters
22.3 Checking Out the Theory
22.4 Further Evolution of Stars
22.5 The Evolution of More Massive Stars
Final Assessment

• The Death of Stars

23.1 The Death of Low-Mass Stars
23.2 Evolution of Massive Stars: An Explosive Finish
23.3 Supernova Observations
23.4 Pulsars and the Discovery of Neutron Stars
23.5 The Evolution of Binary Star Systems
23.6 The Mystery of the Gamma-Ray Bursts
Final Assessment

• Black Holes and Curved Spacetime

24.1 Introducing General Relativity
24.2 Spacetime and Gravity
24.3 Tests of General Relativity
24.4 Time in General Relativity
24.5 Black Holes
24.6 Evidence for Black Holes
24.7 Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Final Assessment

• The Milky Way Galaxy

25.1 The Architecture of the Galaxy
25.2 Spiral Structure
25.3 The Mass of the Galaxy
25.4 The Center of the Galaxy
25.5 Stellar Populations in the Galaxy
25.6 The Formation of the Galaxy
Final Assessment

• Galaxies

26.1 The Discovery of Galaxies
26.2 Types of Galaxies
26.3 Properties of Galaxies
26.4 The Extragalactic Distance Scale
26.5 The Expanding Universe
Final Assessment

• Active Galaxies, Quasars, and Supermassive Black Holes

27.1 Quasars
27.2 Supermassive Black Holes: What Quasars Really Are
27.3 Quasars as Probes of Evolution in the Universe
Final Assessment

• The Evolution and Distribution of Galaxies

28.1 Observations of Distant Galaxies
28.2 Galaxy Mergers and Active Galactic Nuclei
28.3 The Distribution of Galaxies in Space
28.4 The Challenge of Dark Matter
28.5 The Formation and Evolution of Galaxies and Structure in the Universe
Final Assessment

• The Big Bang

29.1 The Age of the Universe
29.2 A Model of the Universe
29.3 The Beginning of the Universe
29.4 The Cosmic Microwave Background
29.5 What Is the Universe Really Made Of?
29.6 The Inflationary Universe
29.7 The Anthropic Principle
Final Assessment

• Life in the Universe

30.1 The Cosmic Context for Life
30.2 Astrobiology
30.3 Searching for Life beyond Earth
30.4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Final Assessment

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