Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets

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edX online courses
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Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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22640 reviews

Course Description

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...

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 XSeriesLearn more about the XSeries program and register for all the courses in the series today!

Reviews 10/10 stars
17 Reviews for Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets

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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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Frans Meersman profile image
Frans Meersman profile image

Frans Meersman

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 3 months ago
Professor Paul Francis and Professor Brian Schmidt have that marvellous gift to make difficult stuff clear and understandable. They make the physics and mathematics accessible but still challenging. Once again a great, great course.
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Nicola De Quattro profile image
Nicola De Quattro profile image

Nicola De Quattro

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 6 months ago
Great course, providing an insight of both the theory behind the subject and the actual effort and observational techniques required for proving the theory. The deductive structure of the lessons keeps the student interested in the subject. The professors are brilliant.
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Richard Reddy profile image
Richard Reddy profile image

Richard Reddy

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
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 an... 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.
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Christos Stefanou profile image
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Christos Stefanou

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 11 months ago
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
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Claudio Felicioli profile image
Claudio Felicioli profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 58 reviews
  • 58 completed
4 years ago
It's fun and awesome. Both the professors are very good on themselves, but their combined effort is something of unutterable greatness. The topics are inspiringly presented, in depth, using the support of lots of ad hoc simulations. The mystery part by Paul is a masterpiece of interactive sci-fi where YOU are the scientist. The complete ANU Astrophysics series is a must for any student with any kind of scientific interest. Do this course, really.
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Geoff Andersen profile image
Geoff Andersen profile image

Geoff Andersen

9/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Excellent course. Very informative, well paced and laid out. If you have an interest in this field I'd definitely recommend this and it is way better than a similar one offered by Harvard which had about a tenth as much content and depth.
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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
This is the best series of astronomical courses on the Internet. The teaching style, the mysteries (Yes, the mysteries in which you're investigating a made-up universe and play around with it! Or your job is to try to save the world!), the homework sets - everything was perfect. The easiest thing is to take these courses in order, so that Cosmology doesn't surprise you. After these courses, I gained so much interest, so I switched a bit from my theoretical mathematics background to astrophysics, and I'm loving it in here. So, it can really change your life. This is the best thing.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 8 months ago
Great course. Even through I already knew a lot about exoplanets there was so much new in here and the instructors are great! Everyone should take this one. You don't need much math + physic knowledge for this course.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Great course, entertaining and educational, delivered by great teachers and backroom staff, always helpful and available, would recommend very highly.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Great course, I expected to learn a little, but came away enthused and downloading science papers from the net!
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Daniel McDonald profile image
Daniel McDonald profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 2 months ago
This course is a good introduction to the topic of exoplanets . It has a slightly broader focus than "The Diversity of Exoplanets"; for instance, it discusses pulsar planets. It has a fair level of mathematical rigour while still being understandable. Also, the course acknowledges and discusses the uncertainty inherent in many results in astronomy. One of the more "university-like" courses on edX outside of the MITx courses.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Paul & Brian are a great team. This is an excellent overview of the current state of exoplanet studies. The physics is very accessible, and the material is interesting. Paul is a very creative teacher, and the mystery & exams help drive home the material.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
An excelent course. I've enjoied it a lot! Excelent work of the team bringing people edge-on science.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Excellent course. Always fascinated by the process of logical thinking that follows through observation data, and then matching it with a theoretical assumption. Or not matching, and attempting alternate logical thinking thread. Creativity in science. Wonderful.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Top quality course in every aspect: teaching, presentation, topics, assignments, forums, instructor feedback. Have not followed a better one yet, online or traditional.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
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 profile image

10/10 starsCompleted
  • 26 reviews
  • 24 completed
1 year, 6 months ago
This series contains the pedagogically best made courses that either edx or coursera has to offer thanks to Paul Francis . 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 .
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