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The Open University Future Learn: In the Night Sky; Orion

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Some new to astronomy may find this course really useful, it's completely free, it takes 4 weeks to complete when doing 3 hours a week of study... and you get a certificate at the end

The course
You can get more of an idea about what’s covered in the course from this short summary.

In Week 1, you’ll discover the constellation of Orion, find it in the sky and find out how the constellations can be used for navigation.

In Week 2, learn about the lifecycle of different types of star, their birth and what happens when they die. Find out about nuclear fusion that happens inside a star and how their mass, luminosity and temperature are related to their lifecycle.

In Week 3, investigate what the night sky can reveal about how it all began, learn about different types of telescopes and go behind the scenes with Monica Grady.

In Week 4, consider how planets and planetary systems formed and find out about our place in the Universe. You’ll also find out about exoplanets and consider whether other stars have planets like ours.

The course is designed to run on desktops, tablets and mobile devices; however, some of the material is quite detailed and using a larger screen will enhance your experience. Materials are best viewed running the most up-to-date software available for your device and using the most recent version of the web browser.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/orion

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Sounds like great fun! Although I'm not quite sure about the "going behind the scenes with Monica Grady" bit. ?

The OU is an amazing place to learn and if someone would like to advance their knowledge of astronomy, I can think of no better university to turn to. They are amazing!

Mike 

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I had a stab at this last year but got overtaken by work of the mortgage paying variety ???.

Some of it was very Janet & John. But other sections were facinating. The discussions on their learning forum were excellent too. 

There are other courses available on future learn:

- Moons (well worth doing)

- Gravity (starts 30th Jan)

Happy learning 

Paul

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1 hour ago, Paul73 said:

I had a stab at this last year but got overtaken by work of the mortgage paying variety ???.

Some of it was very Janet & John. But other sections were facinating. The discussions on their learning forum were excellent too. 

There are other courses available on future learn:

- Moons (well worth doing)

- Gravity (starts 30th Jan)

Happy learning 

Paul

I've done all 3 of the courses you mentioned over the last year or two and enjoyed them all.  The Gravity course is significantly more challenging than the other two.  Another course that may make your brain ache is the Higgs Boson one.

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Being a graduate of the OU I know how good their teaching materials are. This course is aimed at people who have no, or very little knowledge of astronomy. Some of it is very simple but there are also some very interesting discussions.

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Brilliant! Thanks for the link.

There's quite a few courses I'd like to get stuck into. Do they often repeat them? 

I don't have the time (or brain power) to take on more than one or two at a time. 

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10 hours ago, D33P said:

Brilliant! Thanks for the link.

There's quite a few courses I'd like to get stuck into. Do they often repeat them? 

I don't have the time (or brain power) to take on more than one or two at a time. 

Not sure if all the courses offered are repeated, but certainly the astronomy ones mentioned in this thread have been repeated a few times.  I guess it will depend on how many sign up each time as to whether they will continue re-running a particular course.

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+1 on the Orion OU course. Wife took up the challenge of this one last year to improve her astro knowledge and was delighted with both the course and in discovering just how much she actually already understood in the astronomy universe.

Would recommend this to anyone.

Les

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The course is OK, although I suppose it depends on what you already know.  (Same as general knowledge quizzes... easy if you know the answer!)

However, there are some errors which can't be forgiven, even with the excuse of simplifying things somewhat.  I was appalled to read:

Quote

The Sun, then, is a gigantic sphere with a core of burning gas.

...this is totally wrong, although a mistake commonly made. I simply love the apology made by some who have made this mistake elsewhere...

 

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Been completing one of these courses continuosly for the last 18 months. My comments would be inspiring, engaging, entertaining, and free. Have a look there is all sorts of topics covered, something for everyone and not always intellectually challenging

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Ive done a few ou courses including this one, its worth noting that if you want a certificate then you have to pay for it.  Off the top of my head they cost £25.00

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I did it last year, worth doing. Only catch was the ticket at the end isn't free, its about £20.

I often use Openlearn (slightly different OU and completely free, using old course modules) to help with CPD.

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