Astronomy 101 from Skynet University

Course Description

In Lesson 1, we will explore the apparent motions of the stars, the sun, and the moon. We will explain the apparent motions of the stars and the sun in terms of the motions of Earth: its daily spin on its axis, its annual orbit around the sun, and the long-term precession of its spin axis. We will learn how length of day and the height of the sun in the sky at midday vary with season and latitude. We will explore lunar phases, lunar and solar eclipses, and the cycle over which all eclipses repeat.

In Lesson 2, we explore the apparent motions of the planets, as well as attempts to explain these motions throughout history. Specifically, we explore the geocentric models of Aristotle and Ptolemy and the heliocentric models Aristarchus, Copernicus, and Kepler, culminating in Kepler's three laws of planetary motion. We explore tests of these models by Galileo and others. Finally, we learn how Newton explained Kepler's empirical laws with physical law and universal law. But we begin by exploring Stonehenge as an example pre-written-history astronomy, or archaeoastronomy.

In Lesson 3, we explore how we receive information from the universe, primarily in the form of light. We explore the nature of light, beginning with whether it is a particle or a wave. If it is a wave, what is the medium in which the wave travels? We explore how light is created, and study two examples in detail: thermal radiation and atomic absorption and emission lines. We study the absorption and emission lines of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, in particular. We learn how all of this information can be used to measure compositions and temperatures. We explore the Doppler effect and how it can be used to measure line-of-sight velocities, internal motions, etc.

Lesson 4 is focused on the basics of telescopes, how they work, how to set them up, and how to use them.

Astronomy 101 from Skynet University
Lecture 48: Jansky and Reber
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Video Lectures & Study Materials

Visit the official course website for more study materials:

# Lecture Play Lecture
1 Size and Scale (24:45) Play Video
2 Constellations and the Celestial Sphere (16:44) Play Video
3 Motion of the Celestial Sphere (23:43) Play Video
4 Sun-Earth-Moon Scale Model (4:15) Play Video
5 Solar vs. Sidereal Time (16:43) Play Video
6 Seasons (23:10) Play Video
7 Precession (14:00) Play Video
8 Lunar Phases (10:12) Play Video
9 Lunar Month (7:22) Play Video
10 Eclipses (19:13) Play Video
11 Eclipse Seasons (13:09) Play Video
12 Saros Cycle (8:42) Play Video
13 Stonehenge (48:48) Play Video
14 Geocentric Models (22:58) Play Video
15 Heliocentric Models (19:00) Play Video
16 Galilean Revolution (28:01) Play Video
17 Aberration of Starlight and Stellar Parallax (12:35) Play Video
18 Tycho and Kepler (21:16) Play Video
19 Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion (26:56) Play Video
20 Measuring the Astronomical Unit (15:12) Play Video
21 Newton's Laws of Motion (20:18) Play Video
22 Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation (17:25) Play Video
23 Derivation of Kepler's Laws from Newton's Laws (23:56) Play Video
24 Light, Cosmic Rays, Neutrinos, and Gravitational Waves (6:49) Play Video
25 Particle vs. Wave Motion (13:34) Play Video
26 Diffraction, Interference, and Polarization (24:13) Play Video
27 Electromagnetic Spectrum (5:15) Play Video
28 Light and the Electromagnetic Field (11:07) Play Video
29 Thermal Radiation (27:10) Play Video
30 Why Are There No Green Stars? (5:11) Play Video
31 Spectroscopy and Kirchhoff's Laws (17:55) Play Video
32 Atomic Structure (19:40) Play Video
33 Hydrogen Spectral Series (14:21) Play Video
34 Kirchhoff's Laws Explained (4:54) Play Video
35 Doppler Effect (12:40) Play Video
36 Spectral Line Widths (5:20) Play Video
37 Basic Reflecting Telescope (9:11) Play Video
38 Basic Refracting Telescope (17:11) Play Video
39 Reflecting vs. Refracting Telescopes (11:20) Play Video
40 Reflecting Telescope Designs (16:32) Play Video
41 Detectors (11:17) Play Video
42 Spectrographs (9:08) Play Video
43 Light-Gathering Power (7:39) Play Video
44 Resolving Power (13:12) Play Video
45 Atmospheric Blurring (11:52) Play Video
46 High-Resolution Observing (25:41) Play Video
47 University of North Carolina's Telescopes (29:13) Play Video
48 Jansky and Reber (22:38) Play Video
49 Radio Telescopes (19:42) Play Video
50 Radio Interferometers (8:57) Play Video
51 Introduction to Radio Astronomy (48:02) Play Video
52 Space-Based Telescopes (27:15) Play Video


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