The Science of the Solar System

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10/10 stars
based on  336 reviews
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Course Details

Cost

FREE,
Add a Verified Certificate for $49

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Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4722 reviews

Course Description

Learn about the science behind the current exploration of the solar system in this free class. Use principles from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology to understand the latest from Mars, comprehend the outer solar system, ponder planets outside our solar system, and search for habitability in our neighborhood and beyond. This course is generally taught at an advanced level assuming a prior knowledge of undergraduate math and physics, but the majority of the concepts and lectures can be understood without these prerequisites. The quizzes and final exam are designed to make you think critically about the material you have learned rather than to simply make you memorize facts. The class is expected to be challenging but rewarding.
The Science of the Solar System course image
Reviews 10/10 stars
336 Reviews for The Science of the Solar System

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 4 months ago
When I signed up to this course, I thought this would interesting but easy as I have a deep interest for space. Yes it was interesting, but boy it was hard. So hard in fact I learnt new things. It was very challenging in that I had to really think hard about my home works. Prof. Brown has done an amazing job teaching this course and giving us fiendishly difficult questions to tackle...but the thing is I found these quizzes/homeworks addictive! The best MOOC I have done so far.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 months, 2 weeks ago
very interesting, very clear. as a master student for planetary sciences, I've learned a lot of new stuff. Moreover, it connected many of general information and trivia facts together to assemble a broader picture.
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Rachana Shankar profile image
Rachana Shankar profile image

Rachana Shankar

10/10 starsTaking Now
9 months, 2 weeks ago
Mr. Brown is a brilliant man with clear and deep understanding of his subject. He breaks down the complex material to simple and easy to understand language, also providing a lot of useful resources like journals and articles for each lesson taught. The quizzes at the end of each week, help revise and recollect the material. They are thought provoking and interesting. The guest instructors have also done great work.
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10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
10 months, 4 weeks ago
best course i have ever had. professor mike brown has done an excellent work and i really feel grateful and want to thank you each and every person and platform due to which we have been enabled to learn soo much
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Gihan Ilangakoon profile image
Gihan Ilangakoon profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
11 months ago
Prof Mike Brown is very knowledgeable about Planetary Science and additionally, puts across his knowledge in an easy to understand manner. The passion he puts into the instructions makes it enjoyable. The Caltech Course is intense and meant for Undergrads but, this very same fact enables much more in-depth knowledge.
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Mark Elgood profile image
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Mark Elgood

10/10 starsCompleted
11 months, 3 weeks ago
Excellent, Mike Brown is passionate and interesting to follow with a nice skeptical dry wit, the guest lecturers were also all amazing.The exams are not easy but force you to put in a real effort which for me was the whole point. Would very highly recommend this course.
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Olga Yakubovich profile image
Olga Yakubovich profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year ago
Great course! English is very clear. I recommend to geologists and biologists. It seems that the course can be also taken by high school students with physics - math background. There are a lot of physics and chemistry, but Professor Brown explains it perfectly well. You will calculate by yourself how much time to fly to Mars and probably answer the question whether there is life in the universe)
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Harjit Bhalla profile image
Harjit Bhalla profile image

Harjit Bhalla

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 1 month ago
It was really well done. A rigorous scientific treatment without making it forbidding. Dr. Brown deserves a lot of credit. The delivery, the content and the graphics were first rate, worthy of Caltech.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 1 month ago
Amazing job done by Mike Brown. I've taken many online courses but this one is my favorite so far. He's given us his passion and you cannot be anything but with me. Great teacher, great structure, not too hard, just enough to force you understand! Love it!
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 1 month ago
Never regret to spend weeks with Mike Brown exploring the facts of our solar system! I loved the humorous way he talks and the intensive guest lectures (although I can hardly follow them). All in all, it really opens a great opportunity to develop my interest into astrophysics!
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BobH profile image
BobH profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 1 month ago
This was a superlative course. Having been a fan of Prof. Mike Brown's lectures for several years, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a course from him; he did not disappoint. Professor Brown is passionate about the solar system and its evolution, and that passion comes thru in his lectures, lectures that are delivered personally to you, sitting across from him in his office at Caltech. The breath and depth of the material was amazing, and as a lifelong student of Science, I appreciated his candor on what we know, what we hypothesize, and what we still just don't know. The quizzes and final exam are manageable, but at times frustrating. Most all questions have multiple correct answers, but "(mark all that apply)" is not always present in those cases. My one fault on Coursera is that it is not optimized for mobile devices; I live in a rural area where wifi is limited, so watching lecture after lecture on a 1.25 x 2.... This was a superlative course. Having been a fan of Prof. Mike Brown's lectures for several years, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a course from him; he did not disappoint. Professor Brown is passionate about the solar system and its evolution, and that passion comes thru in his lectures, lectures that are delivered personally to you, sitting across from him in his office at Caltech. The breath and depth of the material was amazing, and as a lifelong student of Science, I appreciated his candor on what we know, what we hypothesize, and what we still just don't know. The quizzes and final exam are manageable, but at times frustrating. Most all questions have multiple correct answers, but "(mark all that apply)" is not always present in those cases. My one fault on Coursera is that it is not optimized for mobile devices; I live in a rural area where wifi is limited, so watching lecture after lecture on a 1.25 x 2.25 inch display was less than ideal. I will definitely take this course again, to capture more of the detail -- and on a larger screen.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 1 month ago
A very informative, very well organized course, provided by Dr. Mike Brown in an easy going, informal way, which made it easier to digest. It complemented the knowledge I received from several other courses provided by Coursera on astrophysics. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Shimon Starfury profile image
Shimon Starfury profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
1 year, 2 months ago
Dr. Mike Brown is a FANTASTIC PROFESSOR. His understanding of the content provided is by far....the best!!!! His class is the most fantastic CRITICAL THINKING class I've ever taken in my career! I've always had an interest in all things space and Dr. Mike Brown class...The Science of the Solar System...completed my understanding of the universe. TAKE HIS CLASS...YOU WILL BE GRATIFIED!!!
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YiFan (Rico) Zhu profile image
YiFan (Rico) Zhu profile image

YiFan (Rico) Zhu

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 3 months ago
Absolutely fantastic; stunned at the detail and complexity in which the material is covered with. The Instructor is very engaging and he has a genuine passion for this topic. The material is challenging but manageable. Definitely will recommend.
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Kirk Boodry profile image
Kirk Boodry profile image

Kirk Boodry

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 3 months ago
This was incredibly interesting and accessible with only a basic grounding in the underlying sciences. It helps that Professor Brown was very engaging - I wish I had classes like this when I was in college
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Vibha Padmanabhan profile image
Vibha Padmanabhan profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
1 year, 3 months ago
This was an extremely informative, engaging, and interesting course. It really helped me grasp the physics of planetary systems and made me think deeply about everything explained in the lectures. Prof. Mike Brown did a great job delivering the lectures and providing relevant resources and updates from the scientific field. I enjoyed the weekly quiz questions especially. Overall, the course was challenging but well worth it.
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Theo Wellington profile image
Theo Wellington profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 3 reviews
  • 2 completed
1 year, 4 months ago
I enjoy this class enough that I came back a second time to get some of the new data from recent missions. This is just a great primer on what we know and how we know our our solar system. Should be required for secondary science teachers and informal educators (museums, planetariums).
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Pat Crabb profile image
Pat Crabb profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
1 year, 5 months ago
The Sky at Night - with tests ! Mike Brown MA ybe - is a little smug and annoying at times and his pen-work on the slides is a little obscure but no worse than the guest lecturers. The tests are mostly fair, but some questions are posed obscurely . . "which of the following are not reasons against . . . " is more a test of literacy than science.
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Cris DeWolf profile image
Cris DeWolf profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 5 months ago
Great course. Mike Brown does an excellent job of making the material accessible to all, even though it was quite difficult at times. I definitely learned more than I knew before taking this class, and also learned that there is much more to learn.
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Alejandro Bertrand profile image
Alejandro Bertrand profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 8 months ago
Excellent introductory course. I loved the content and how it is presented. Don't need a solid scientific background but nice to have some basic concepts. Strongly recommended!!
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 8 months ago
Takes the learner seriously provides good information and explains how it was obtained and substantiates it. Stays skeptic and does not claim knowledge that isn't there Scientific and Beautiful
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AlejandroV Dau profile image
AlejandroV Dau profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 7 months ago
Awesome content by an awesome teacher. Prof Brown is no less than the person behind the demotion of Pluto as a planet, discoverer of many significant Kuiper belt objects (like Eris) and in the search of a ninth (actual) planet that would explain abnormal orbits in KBOs. The course is accessible to anyone interested in astronomy regardless of background. Highly recommended
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Hugo Alberto Vicente profile image
Hugo Alberto Vicente profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 7 months ago
Fascinating!!! In this excellent course you can get a new look at the solar system and about life. Whatever you are in your professional life, do it, you will discover the wonderfulness of the universe ...
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 8 months ago
Mars and its evolution, Formation of the planets and the Jovian interior, moons of Jupiter and Saturn, small body groupings and their motions, signatures of life. Lots of how we know without the detailed maths. Delivered by Mike Brown with calm enthusiasm. Half way through I checked some bits on the Wiki and found that Prof Brown is a leading world expert in this field.... suddenly it became a massive privilege to listen to these lectures ( for free!). Thank you.
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Ryan LaBarge profile image
Ryan LaBarge profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 8 months ago
Super fascinating. If you want quantitative information - you've got it. If you are a qualitative sort of person, no problem. I'm someone who fancies himself pretty knowledgeable in general astrophysics (informally) and I've learned so many neat things and my only regret is that there isn't even more content for me to consume.
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8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 9 months ago
This course improved my knowledge of the solar system far beyond what you will hear in the media. Especially the focus on research methods and how they improved our knowledge was insightful. The instructer is highly proficient in the field and the course was well paced and structured. Thank You.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 9 months ago
This is a top quality science communicator (and also a prominent scientist in his field), who really teaches you interesting facts, theories and especially methods to understand our solar system. I study applied physics, and I wish my Uni courses looked more like this, (with some more calculations, of course! :) ). I have some small issues with coursera, but overall this has been a great experience. I actually binged-coursed this in three days!
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ADITYA KUMAR profile image
ADITYA KUMAR profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 9 months ago
THIS COURSE IMPROVES MY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SOLAR SYSTEM .RTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ETRTGRWGRBVREBGBBETGTB ET
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Gourav Namta profile image
Gourav Namta profile image

Gourav Namta

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 10 months ago
The best course ever for space enthusiasts. Period. It teaches you a whole lot of things in nine weeks, sometimes you might find it challenging as well. But keep going through. Your outlook towards the whole universe will change. It's worth the time.
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Nisia Krusche profile image
Nisia Krusche profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 11 months ago
The course is certainly the best astronomy one I have ever taken. The instructor is clear, has a good sense of humor, and a very good judgment in selecting the topics to present. The tests are very hard to complete, real study has to be done to get approved. I started the course three times, this is the first time I was able to complete because I had some others priorities in the first two times. Luckily, all my work was carried on from time to time, which was very good, because otherwise, I would not be able to complete it. That and the knowledge that very interesting classes awaited for me were the reason I did not give up. To have a stronger understanding of the themes that are presented, a basic undergraduate course in physics is needed, and ones in chemistry and in geology would be advised. I believe that even without that background knowledge, one can appreciate all the news on the Solar System that is presented in great det... The course is certainly the best astronomy one I have ever taken. The instructor is clear, has a good sense of humor, and a very good judgment in selecting the topics to present. The tests are very hard to complete, real study has to be done to get approved. I started the course three times, this is the first time I was able to complete because I had some others priorities in the first two times. Luckily, all my work was carried on from time to time, which was very good, because otherwise, I would not be able to complete it. That and the knowledge that very interesting classes awaited for me were the reason I did not give up. To have a stronger understanding of the themes that are presented, a basic undergraduate course in physics is needed, and ones in chemistry and in geology would be advised. I believe that even without that background knowledge, one can appreciate all the news on the Solar System that is presented in great detail.
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.