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Online Astronomy Course Overviews

Astronomers study the objects that float through space, including planets, moons, stars and comets. Most astronomers narrow down their research to one field, like solar or observational astronomy.

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Online Courses in Astronomy

Below are some common online astronomy courses offered by colleges and universities.

  • Methods of Astronomy Course: This course addresses the methods used to study astronomy. Students learn about the structure of the solar system, galaxy and universe. They explore how the Earth's motion is used to define time and space and learn how to determine stellar brightness, distance and mass.
  • The Solar System Course: Astronomy students in this online course explore the properties of the solar system. They discuss the origins of asteroids, comets and meteors. Students examine geology on a planetary scale, including plate tectonics and the properties of other planets.
  • Galactic Astronomy Course: This course examines the structure of the universe, including the Milky Way galaxy. Students discuss the birth and death of stars and their classification. They examine the sun and learn about stellar objects, including neutron stars, pulsars and black holes.
  • Cosmology Course: This online astronomy course discusses the evolution and origins of the universe. Students review the Big Bang theory and the nuclear reaction of stars and supernovas. They explore the possibility of other intelligent life in the galaxy.
  • Astrobiology and Space Exploration Course: This course further focuses on the search for life in space. Students in this program will watch a series of lectures discussing topics ranging from the molecules floating through the solar system to the possibility of colonizing asteroids. Other topics include planets that orbit other stars, meteorites, dark matter and how life on Earth gives us hope for life in space.
  • Planets and Stars Observation Course: This course will teach students how to use small telescopes for research or as a private hobby. Topics include electronic imaging, visual observation techniques and spectroscopy of various celestial bodies.
  • Extrasolar Planets Course: In this course, students will learn about the interiors and atmospheres on exoplanets, also known as extrasolar planets. Special emphasis is placed on the properties of exoplanets and how they're detected, including the search for planets that are like Earth.

Program Information

Astronomy courses provide students with a basic scientific understanding of the objects in the universe. They also address the history of astronomy. Colleges and universities offer astronomy courses online as standalone courses or as part of bachelor's and master's degree programs in astronomy.

Many astronomy courses are offered online for free. Certificate programs are available, as well, in addition to bachelor's and master's degrees. You'll be studying topics like cosmology, the solar system and space exploration.

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