The Science of the Solar System

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10/10 stars
based on  351 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
4831 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
351 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
6 years, 1 month 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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Santanu Chatterjee profile image
Santanu Chatterjee profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 weeks ago
The course content is enriching. It covers everything from the planets moons asteroids comets to life elsewhere in the universe. Mars is one of the focus of this course. You won't look at Mars the same way after completing this course. The best part is that this course teaches materials right from published papers of various journals. You see actual data and simulations. Our course instructor, Dr. Mike Brown is published author in peer-reviewed journals. His way of teaching has a calming effect. He talks about esoteric stuff in lucid terms. Lots of original research papers and abstracts are provided in the course "Resources" section for reference. This course will simply make you fall in love with our solar system.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 weeks, 1 day ago
An amazing course. Professor Brown is a dynamic speaker and fascinating lecturer. For someone who has been out of school for decades and who lacks a science background, the course was challenging but well worth it. I have not only learned so much but I feel like a have a much better appreciation of the universe. I cursed whenever an equation was used but I am so glad I committed to the class. It was the best 9 weeks I have ever spent.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 month ago
The best classes are the ones that give you the information you need to carry what you learn in the course to the next level - analysis. This class digs down into the details of our solar system so that you have the knowledge to ask and answer the 'What if?" questions. Professor Brown's lectures are engaging and his passion for the topic is ALWAYS evident. I am a serious amateur astronomer and this is the best of these online courses I have taken. The interface is sometimes clunky and there were some small portions of the lectures where the audio was a bit distorted but the teaching always showed through.
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10/10 starsCompleted
1 month, 1 week ago
This course is very informative, presenting tons of evidence to make logical sense of the topics shown. There are a few abstract concepts, but the instructor is so knowledgeable that he breaks them down into easier chunks. He is a great teacher. I learned a lot of good information. If you haven't taken a college level astronomy class, you will definitely learn a lot! Even if you have (I had), you will definitely learn new things! Highly Recommend!!!
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Cristy McGowan profile image
Cristy McGowan profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
1 month, 2 weeks ago
This was an amazing and very educational course, the instructor is very knowledgeable I'm passionate about cosmology, and it shows in the way he teaches. I learned a lot, and I encourage anyone interested in astronomy to take its course, it's one of the best.
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Emilio José Puerto profile image
Emilio José Puerto profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 month, 3 weeks ago
A worthy course to get into the Science of the Solar system, that will enjoy with medium knowledge of Science, or even for those who are not good at Phisics or Chemistry.
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Kristyna F profile image
Kristyna F profile image

Kristyna F

10/10 starsCompleted
2 months ago
By far the best course I've ever taken. And it's not only about the topic (yes, 'space is cool', but believe me, it does not guaratee a good course), the structure of the course, the difficulty level vs pace&explaining balance, and, last but not the least, the instructor were simply brilliant! It's also worth mentioning that this course is probably not suitable for beginners or 'fans of space' who don't have some basics in physics and/or Earth sciences. Throughout the course I was really grateful for passing my university courses of climatology, geology, geomorphology, hydrology and many others. Summary: Greatly structured course delivered by an extraordinary lecturer for very motivated learners with scientific background.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
2 months ago
I’m beyond happy I took this course. So many questions I’ve had were answered and so many questions I didn’t know I wanted to ask were brought forward. Mike Brown is an excellent instructor and his enthusiasm truly makes learning enjoyable. I highly recommend this to anyone who has even the smallest inkling of curiosity about where we live.
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Avi Conan profile image
Avi Conan profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 months ago
If you want to know some great stuff, enroll in this course right now. Take my word, you won't regret it. The presentation was great. The deep depth of each of the concepts was fascinating. And no need to say, Prof Mike was awesome.
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Peteris Landovskis profile image
Peteris Landovskis profile image

Peteris Landovskis

10/10 starsCompleted
2 months ago
The course was fascinating and the material was well presented. I learned a lot (and I think I drove some of my friends crazy excitedly telling them about what I had learnt whether they wanted to hear it or not). The concepts presented really made you think. The math was not overly difficult but as Prof Brown said in his introduction, the concepts could be learned without the mathematical detail. It is by far the best online course I have taken so far.
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10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
4 months ago
This is a topic that has always interested me, the instructor and guest lecturers being so passionate about it, the explanations being deep yet not as difficult to follow through...It has been delightful! It would have been perfect if all videos had had the script written down for all users whose mother-tongue is not English. However, that is not a big deal. I would highly encourage anyone who loves the topic to take this course.
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6/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 months, 1 week ago
Interesting course, however a lot of the information is outdated. Some of the modules haven't been updated in over 5 years (the Insight mission for example). It would have been nice to have a recent update on the latest science on Mars.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 months ago
It updated my childhood level knowledge of the subject. Of all kinds of knowledge, what surrounds us, seems to be one of the most fundamental ones for an educated person.
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Alexandre GINESY profile image
Alexandre GINESY profile image

Alexandre GINESY

10/10 starsCompleted
7 months, 1 week ago
As a kid I've always had a huge interest for space so when I discovered Coursera this is the first MOOC I took and I've got to say I was really amazed by the quality of this course. The instructor is such an interesting humain being and the content is very fascinating. I have learned a lot about our solar system which has enforced my thirst for knowledge of space.
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Rich Patchett profile image
Rich Patchett profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 months, 1 week ago
My first Coursera online experience. I thought this course would be an easy overview. Not easy, but an excellent journey into a variety of solar system techniques for understanding the make up of our, and other, planetary systems. Technical at times, but at the right level. The quizzes were difficult for me, but a nice weekly challenge. Mike Brown and his associates were all excellent presenters. I would take a similar course. Some information is outdated (relative to November 2019) relating to space craft status and delayed launch dates, just a minor thing.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year 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
1 year, 5 months 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
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  • 0 completed
1 year, 7 months 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
1 year, 7 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
1 year, 8 months 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, 8 months 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
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Harjit Bhalla

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 9 months 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, 9 months 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, 9 months 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, 9 months 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, 9 months 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, 11 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, 12 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
2 years 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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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.