Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets - Australian National University

4 opinions


Important information

  • Course
  • Online
  • Duration:
    9 Weeks
  • When:

Explore the mysteries of exoplanets - planets around other stars – in this introductory astrophysics course.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Important information

Requirements: High school mathematics and physics


Where and when

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What I would highlight This is a superbly crafted course, filled with interesting details on the techniques and inherent limitations of astrophysics. Both instructors are highly qualified, to say the least, but have a knack for clear communication and plain speaking. This makes the course accessible to anyone who is comfortable with high school math. It's also an excellent course for people who know something about physics. I have an MS in Applied Physics, but knew little about astrophysics before completing this X-Series from ANU. Science and engineering are highly specialized; it's great to find courses that touch upon many contemporary topics of interest to observatories and researchers all over the world. Nowadays, books on astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology are out of date when we open them! All of the courses in series are packed with cutting-edge material on new frontiers currently being explored by astrophysicists. It's pretty clear Brian and Paul enjoy their work, and the presentation emphasizes practical knowledge, "matchbook" calculations that can be done on a note pad, and the essential concepts used to advance the work of astrophysics. Anyone taking these courses will learn a lot about astronomy and astrophysics, and also the thought process used by physicists to tackle problems of all kinds.

What could be improved No negative aspects.

Course taken: December 2016 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What I would highlight This series contains the pedagogically best made courses that either edx or coursera has to offer . Implementing pedagogical research , Paul Francis has achieved a masterwork of teaching his topic . The course design , with a semester being broken up into 4 courses and videos so short that your attention spam won't drop, ensures continuous learning and thus deep understanding . The optional "Mystery" does not only make these courses fantastic fun but is "learning by doing it" come to life . With his course design , Paul Francis has given a new meaning to the word learning . You never learn more than when you are living it . No mathematical skills beyond middle school or which couldn't be looked up are needed to take these courses , yet mathematics are cleverly used throughout every course to provide true understanding of the topics covered , which makes these courses the ideal entrance for anyone curious about the universe .

What could be improved Everything OK.

Course taken: September 2016 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What I would highlight This course took me to a great journey around the cosmos. The instructors are very enthusiastic and passionate about this subject and this enhanced my own interest too. I am definitely going to complete the whole X-Series program and I am very interested in continuing to explore this amazing field. If you enroll to these courses, you won't regret it. Keep up the excellent work Mr. Francis and Mr. Schmidt

What could be improved Nothing bad.

Course taken: August 2016 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What you'll learn on the course


Course programme

The discovery of exoplanets is one of the greatest revolutions in modern astrophysics. Twenty years ago, we had no idea whether any of the countless stars out there beyond our solar system had planets or not. Today, things are totally different. Over 1,000 planetary systems have been discovered. The universe is teeming with planets. And what strange planets they are - hot Jupiter-like planets skimming the surfaces of their stars, cold and lonely free-floating planets far from any star, planets made of diamond, planets with rain made of glass, super-Earths and even planets orbiting neutron stars. In this course, we’ll bring you up-to-date with the latest research on exoplanets, and how this research has revolutionised our understanding of the formation of solar systems like our own. This course is designed for people who would like to get a deeper understanding of these mysteries than that offered by popular science articles and shows. You will need reasonable high-school level mathematics and physics to get the most out of this course. This is the second of four ANUx courses which together make up the Australian National University's first year astrophysics program. It follows on from the introductory course on the Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe, and is followed by courses on the violent universe and on cosmology. These courses compromise the Astrophysics XSeries. Learn more about the XSeries program and register for all the courses in the series today!