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Bruce BettsMarch 6, 2012

Online Astronomy Course Update

All the archived lectures from my free Introduction to Astronomy and the Solar System course, as well as links to the syllabus and how to watch the lectures live, can be found here.

My special guest for last week's class was none other than the blog goddess and Venusophile (or is that Aphroditophile?) Emily Lakdawalla, updating us on Venus Express, Akatsuki, and even her needlework spacecraft. Then I provided a comparison of the triad planets (Earth, Venus, and Mars) and their atmospheres, followed by a focus on Venus that included its surface features, evolution, and the spacecraft that have explored the planet. The previous three lectures covered a tour of the solar system (including a Planetary Radio recording session with Mat Kaplan), how we explore planets (with a discussion of easy things to look for in the night sky with or without a telescope), telescopes, spacecraft, using multiple wavelengths, remote sensing, in situ studies, and the Moon and Mercury.

This week's lecture, for all you Marsophiles (Areophiles), is about the Red Planet. Join us live on Wednesdays at 3:00pm Pacific Time, or check out the archive.

Read more: astronomy, podcasts and videos, Planetary Society Video, explaining science

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Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager for The Planetary Society
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