Free Astronomy and Space Exploration Courses

A star going supernova
Image: Fate of the Sister by Jim Plaxco. A depiction of a binary star system in which one of the stars has gone supernova. Original image size: 27 x 21 inches.

I recently discovered a great collection of free online courses being offered by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Known as MIT OpenCourseWare, it consists of complete courses in a wide variety of disciplines. You don't even have to register – just download the files to your computer. The courses provide lecture notes, review problems, quizzes, and solutions using a combination of html, xml, and pdf files.

What caught my eye were the Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Physics sections. Classes in the Physics section that I downloaded are:

(Note that the course links given in the original blog post are no longer available.)

  • Relativity
  • Introduction to Special Relativity
  • Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity and Astrophysics
  • Introduction to Astronomy
  • Modern Astrophysics
  • The Early Universe
  • Cosmology
  • Astrophysics I

Closer to home the section Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (original link now 404) contains a number of interesting courses including:

  • The Solar System
  • Hands-On Astronomy: Observing Stars and Planets

Lastly, for the budding rocket scientist there is in the Aeronautics and Astronautics (original link now 404) section the following courses:

  • Rocket Propulsion
  • Space Propulsion

In fact there is easily more than enough material available to keep the enquiring mind busy for years. My advice: go forth and learn.

Ad Astra, Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Saturday, February 24th, 2007 at 9:49 am and is filed under Astronomy.