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Introduction to Astronomy - free course


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Astronomy for me is a hobby (ok it really is a lifestyle). I really dont need to study it,do exams and get a qualification in it. I dont want/need that.

I learn about astronomy from reading books,online articles and asking questions online etc.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I'm pretty good at maths and basic algebra but that's not basic  and how to do these stumped me to compute the product of eqn1.png and eqn2.png., if shown a couple of times i would probably get my head round them.

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After taking the course and finally completing it last week, I can certainly say this:

DO NOT take it unless you have a LOT of time and really love astronomy or maths, and can put up with lots of maths! They advertised basic algebra which is very easy, but I found it pretty extreme and a lot more difficult than basic algebra, and I'm currently doing A Level maths.

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Just as a quick example, one of the questions I found 'easier'!

GX5x7ed.png

gobbledygook to me unless someone shows me how to go through it, it was the same when i was shown the equation for transformers now its easy.

Voltage on the secondary over the voltage on the primary

equals number of turns on secondary over the number of turns on primary

equals current in the primary over the current in the secondary.

Edited by wookie1965
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gobbledygook to me unless someone shows me how to go through it, it was the same when i was shown the equation for transformers now its easy.

I got through all 12 weeks through purely having to get help through the forums, as I had no time for the lectures (which are unrelated to the homework anyway).

I wouldn't call myself smart or anything but I like to think that doing a level maths I'm past the 'struggling with basic algebra' stage, yet this course was constantly difficult!

It finishes next week, all the work has been long due in so basically if you were to sign up you would be doing it purely for the lectures really :)

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Looking at the maths though I like to learn and that has peaked my interest Im going to find somewhere i can go to to taught how to do this I Have set myself the task of learning a new language this year i have just got the Rosetta stone with Italian so I am going to start that, might as well keep my mind active.

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I started Ronen Plesser's Inroduction to Astronomy, and got good marks (80% average), but I fell off the horse about halfway through because the homework was just taking me too long and I fell too far behind. There's deliberately no calculus, but the algebra and importance of getting 'scales' of answers right was all consuming. Some weeks harder than others. Week 2 when you use Newtons Laws sorts you out.

It really is a brilliant course - but budget lots more time than you'd think, stick to a work plan, say bye to your family, and brush up on you algebra first! Prof Plesser instils the sense that the universe's beauty is linked to its maths - and when you suss the incredible reach and simplicity of gravitational equations or Keplers Laws etc - it really does hit home.

The attrition rate is published and is v high. 60,000 apply, 3000 pass. Serious kudos to anyone who completes this course successfully. Well done Tibbz2 - I take my hat off to you.

I'm actually doing the four week "Highlights of Modern Astronomy" https://www.coursera.org/course/astronomy which (so far) has no maths an is all interesting astronomy and cosmology stuff. Professor Adam Frank is engaging and the lectures are easy to follow. Not too late to join and catch up.

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I started Ronen Plesser's Inroduction to Astronomy, and got good marks (80% average), but I fell off the horse about halfway through because the homework was just taking me too long and I fell too far behind. There's deliberately no calculus, but the algebra and importance of getting 'scales' of answers right was all consuming. Some weeks harder than others. Week 2 when you use Newtons Laws sorts you out.

It really is a brilliant course - but budget lots more time than you'd think, stick to a work plan, say bye to your family, and brush up on you algebra first! Prof Plesser instils the sense that the universe's beauty is linked to its maths - and when you suss the incredible reach and simplicity of gravitational equations or Keplers Laws etc - it really does hit home.

The attrition rate is published and is v high. 60,000 apply, 3000 pass. Serious kudos to anyone who completes this course successfully. Well done Tibbz2 - I take my hat off to you.

I'm actually doing the four week "Highlights of Modern Astronomy" https://www.coursera.org/course/astronomy which (so far) has no maths an is all interesting astronomy and cosmology stuff. Professor Adam Frank is engaging and the lectures are easy to follow. Not too late to join and catch up.

It does take a lot more time than they say it does, and it does take a lot of effort, week 5 was the worst for me to to commitments at school being sky high during that week, so I scraped 60% in that week, but luckily my overall percentage stayed about 95% which I was pleased with finishing at!

Thanks for sharing the other course too, that looks a bit nicer :)

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It does take a lot more time than they say it does, and it does take a lot of effort, week 5 was the worst for me to to commitments at school being sky high during that week, so I scraped 60% in that week, but luckily my overall percentage stayed about 95% which I was pleased with finishing at!

Thanks for sharing the other course too, that looks a bit nicer :)

serious congratulations tibbz2. Hats off. 

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I've had a YouTube video on my screen the last 2-3 weeks which it has taken me that long to watch this 3hr video when I was free in lunch breaks.

Now if you want to hear from a Physicist who is also a Trekky, a wealth of unbelievable knowledge and one thing he did mention was that the maths equations are how Physicists talk to each other, but they are useless unless you can explain them to a child.

I've see this guy on quite a few videos I've watched and he is so down to earth and explains things very well. If you have a spare 3 hours it's worth the watch on this interview.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOX-dhQXSpg

An interview with Michio Kaku

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