Class information

Provider Coursera logo
Institution Duke University
Code N/A
Language English
Next session To be announced
Estimated workload 6-12 hours/week
Level N/A
Categories Teacher Professional Development
Instructors Ronen Plesser


Start date Duration
Past Dec. 1, 2014 13 weeks
Past Dec. 2, 2013 15 weeks
Past Nov. 27, 2012 8 weeks

Note that archives might still be available for past sessions.


In this class, we will be studying, quite literally, everything in the universe.  We will start with "classical" astronomy, describing the night sky and organizing what we see as was done in ancient times.  We will then embark on a journey, starting here on Earth and progressing outward, to study the Solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the wonderful and strange objects we observe in deep space, such as black holes, quasars, and supernovae.  We will end with some discussion of what scientists know today about the universe as a whole.  Along the way we will introduce some of ...

Read the full description on Coursera


  1. An interest in learning something about the universe we live in and a willingness to invest some thought and some work in this.
  2. The ability to calculate with large and small numbers, e.g. to compute the product of and .
  3. A familiarity with the rudiments of high-school algebra, the ability ...


3 posts

  • Robyn
    Written 2 years, 6 months agoFeatured
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Very Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    A fantastic introduction to basic astrophysics but you have to work for every step! It is massively time demanding - the homeworks alone took multiple hours to complete (for me anyway), not just a quick quiz like other MOOCs. You will learn so much but you really need to be dedicated to get through the course. So many times when I just felt like giving up but I had such a sense of achievement when I finally completed it that I came back again the next year. Excellent teaching from Dr Plesser, excellent materials.
  • Written 3 years, 7 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Very interesting, Ronen Plesser is a very good professor.
    In this course, a huge effort are made for presenting complex phenomenon with simple math, requisite simple calculus.
    The exchange between student, in the forum, are very important, because the homework's problems are difficult for student with a limited background in physic. The "difficulty sharing" are a key for progress.
  • Written 3 years, 8 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Very Hard
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    Very interesting course but took a lot of time and effort. I found it very hard but still managed to complete the course even though the last lectures were beyond my grasp. Ronen Plesser's enthusiasm will sweep you off your feet and you will lose sleep trying to complete the homework, but you will feel it is worth it when you have completed this course.

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