Online courses are becoming more and more popular these days among people who want to continue learning as well as students like me who wish to deepen their understanding. I have benefitted greatly from MOOCs in Physics because it allowed me to rekindle my interest in Astrophysics.
This month, as many as 5 new courses on different aspects of Astronomy have started, all of them free. I have taken some of their previous sessions and they were totally worth it. They are mostly beginner level so you won’t have much difficulty in learning even if you are not that familiar with Physics. Here is the list:
- Confronting the Big Questions (University of Rochester)
Beginner level. Great for those starting out.
Requires 3-4 hours per week. All course materials are free but you have to pay for a certificate. Link
- From Big Bang to Dark Energy (University of Tokyo)
Beginner level. Elementary knowledge of Physics would be an advantage.
Requires 2-3 hours per week. All course materials are free but you have to pay for a certificate. Link
- AstroTech: The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery (University of Edinburgh)
Beginner level. As the name suggests, it is an introduction to how astronomical observations are made. Expect to learn about Telescopes, Detectors, Reflectors etc. as well as the different objects in the sky.
Free option limits the course content available to you, unfortunately. Link
- Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space (University of Arizona)
Beginner level. An introduction to the field of Astronomy, it covers everything. Requires 3-4 hours per week. Available to audit free or pay for the certificate. Link
- Astrophysics Series(Australian National University)
Intermediate level. There are 4 courses in the series equivalent to the first year of a degree programme in Astrophysics. Requires high school level Physics and Mathematics. Requires 3-4 hours per week. One of the instructor is none other than Brian Schmidt(Nobel Prize winner 2011). It is always in session, you can enroll anytime and complete at your own pace. Link
Other related courses just started/starting soon:
- Analyzing the universe (Rutgers the State University of New Jersey)
- Data driven Astronomy(The University of Sydney)
Advanced, for students in their third year of degree or above.
- The Evolving Universe(Caltech)
Mostly lectures, has a ton of information
- Imagining Other Earths(Princeton University)
A bit extensive(24 weeks/20+hours) but fun. It is centered around lectures. Great deal of information.
- Archaeoastronomy(Politecnico di Milano)