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Complete 2014 Astronomy Course Online

Posted by Bruce Betts

19-05-2014 11:05 CDT

Topics: planetary astronomy, astronomy, explaining technology, Planetary Society Video, explaining science, Planetary Society

I have completed the lectures for my online 2014 Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy Course at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH): All lectures are free and online at and you can earn a Certificate of Achievement for watching them. You can learn more about the class on the same web page including syllabus and assignments.

In a nutshell, I tried to give an entertaining introduction to planetary science, light on math and heavy on pretty pictures with explanations, as well as in the last couple lectures covering the broader universe (stars, galaxies, Big Bang, etc.). The class, taught in participation with the distance learning experts at CSUDH, was offered for college credit to those high school juniors and seniors in their Young Scholar program. Anyone who watches all the lectures can now earn a Certificate of Achievement to download from The Planetary Society.

I had fun teaching the class, and hope you all have fun watching and learning. Special thanks those I worked with directly at CSUDH: Warren Ashley, whom we all miss and who was behind the creation of the course, Van Bridgeman, Joy Jones, Steven Williams, and Calvin Ko, and students Alana McKinney, Maria Rosales, Zanaeya Fitts, Mario Briones, and Estela Delgado.  Thanks also to Mark Hilverda and Brandon Schoelz from The Planetary Society for their help.

Lastly, I hope this course brought an increased sense of wonder about the universe and a desire to learn more! Continue learning and exploring by joining The Planetary Society, following me (Dr. Betts) on Twitter, or Facebook, or Google+ and following The Planetary Society on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. The universe awaits!

See other posts from May 2014


Or read more blog entries about: planetary astronomy, astronomy, explaining technology, Planetary Society Video, explaining science, Planetary Society


Russell Yeagley: 05/19/2014 11:43 CDT

The Society has come a long way since I was a charter member under Carl Sagan. Congrats!

Robert Small: 05/21/2014 01:38 CDT

Wow I must say this site lets me stay in that place we were all in at 10 years old, I still ooh and aww at the progress of science. I was always bad at math but now I'm taking on the challenge and learning Algebra! I love this site.

Richardo Brown: 07/08/2014 01:06 CDT

Hello Dr. Betts My Name is Richardo Brown, A.A., A.S. I'am a Planetary Society / NASA Satelitte Spacecraft Participant; 'Name a Crater 433 Eros', Name and Message on JPL/NASA/Planetary Society Satellite Mission Participant: 433Eros, Cassini Huygens (Saturn/Titan), New Horizons (Pluto/Kuiper Belt), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Glory (Earth/Failed), STS-134 Endeavor(Final Journey), STS-135 Atlantis (Final Journey), MSL Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), MAVEN, JAXA Hayabusha-2, Osiris Rex (Bennu Asteroid). Here are my long notes from your Astronomy/Physics 195 Class. The notes are taken from Lecture 1-13. Lecture & Answer 1,1 2,2 3,2, 4,4 5,4 6,3 7,2 8,2 9,1 10,3 11,4 12,2 13,2 Reach Me about the Exam cause I took notes...Social Media: Facebook...Search; Richardo Brown You Tube...Search; Richardo Brown Twitter...Search; Richardo Brown

Roger Hallquist: 07/11/2014 03:12 CDT

Man, this course was really, really, really, great as opposed to others which are just really great. I hope you can do others and expand on some of the topics, esp. the expansion of the universe!

Richardo brown: 07/23/2014 11:33 CDT

How come I didn't get the Certificate???!!1?! I finished all 13 classes with notes...I still did not pass, was all of the answers right so close and no score

Bruce Betts: 07/28/2014 05:10 CDT

Richardo: about half your answers were wrong, and to get the certificate requires at least 12 out of 13 to be correct. As a reminder, the answers on the quiz have to be the "certificate Random Space Fact" as mentioned in each lecture. To quote from the quiz page to hopefully give more clarification: "a Random Space Fact (RSF) is given in each class designed to be “the” RSF that users will have to recognize later to get the certificate. The following is a multiple choice quiz. Enter your information then select the "certificate Random Space Fact" from each lecture. You must get at least 12 out of 13 correct to pass the quiz and receive a certificate to download. Note: even the “incorrect” choices below are valid scientific facts, but are not those identified as the certificate facts in the classes." Hope that clarifies things.

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