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Bruce Betts' Online Astronomy Course 2012

The Planetary Society's Director of Projects, Dr. Bruce Betts, returned to the virtual classroom at California State University Dominguez Hills from February 8, 2012 to May 9, 2012 teaching Physics 195: Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy.  Here is an archive of all 13 classes. 

He is also teaching an updated version of the the same class. Go here to learn more.

Each class is one-and-a-half hours. Just click on a session title to get to a large version of the video for that class.

If you are curious about what was covered in the class, here is the syllabus (PDF), or just see the descriptions with the classes below.

For those who are interested, here we've posted the midterm (PDF) and the midterm with answers (PDF). We will post the final as well at some point.

Session 1: Tour of the Solar System, Guest Mat Kaplan

Overview Day: Tour of the Solar System, and a recording of Planetary Radio What's Up segment with Mat Kaplan

Session 2: How Do We Explore Planets in Space?

How do we explore planets and space?: Easy Things to Look for in the Night Sky with and without telescopes, telescopes, spacecraft, using multiple wavelengths, remote sensing, and In Situ Studies

Session 3: The Moon and Mercury

The Moon, Mercury, and Planetary Surfaces Processes

Session 4: The Triad Planets and Venus, Guest Emily Lakdawalla from The Planetary Society

Venus, Earth, Mars Intercomparison, and Focus on Venus. Guest Emily Lakdawalla gives updates on Venus.

Session 5: Mars


Session 6: Asteroids and the Asteroid Impact Threat

Asteroids, including Near Earth Objects, and impact hazards to the Earth.

Session 7: The Jupiter System

Jupiter and its satellites, Magnetospheres

Session 8: Saturn and its moons

Saturnian System, Ring Systems

Session 9: Saturn (continued), and Uranian and Neptunian Systems

Uranian and Neptunian Systems

Session 10: Pluto, Kuiper Belt, Trans Neptunian Objects, Oort Cloud, and Comets

Pluto system, Kuiper Belt Objects, Oort cloud, Comets and effects of the Sun (solar wind, light pressure)

Session 11: Exoplanets and Origin of the Solar System, Guest: Darin Ragozzine, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Extra Solar Planets: exploring other solar systems, and origins of our own

Session 12: The Sun and Stars

The Sun and Stars: Formation, evolution, types. Plus Solar Sails and Lagrange Points.

Session 13: Galaxies, Big Bang, and Life

Galaxies, Expansion of the Universe, Big Bang, Life and SETI

astronaut on Phobos
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