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CarsonMB

Self-directed astronomy course in a book?

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Hey everyone,

I have been thinking about ramping up my ability and knowledge of astronomy and I think a course would be really helpful in this regard.  That said, I live in the country, and can neither commute nor afford a university course on the topic.  I was hoping someone might know of a book or resource that is set up like a course, with lessons, exercises and scaffolded topics for someone to learn from.

Anyone know of something like this?

 

Thanks

Carson

Edited by CarsonMB

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Ditto on both of those. The Open Learn courses are good as a start, currently doing the Moons of the Solar system course.

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Thank you both! These both look like excellent ways of learning. I'm looking forward to exploring them.

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9 minutes ago, Gottzi said:

Ditto on both of those. The Open Learn courses are good as a start, currently doing the Moons of the Solar system course.

Do you follow a set schedule or just work at your own pace?

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There is a schedule but you can work faster if you want to. The Moons of the Solar System course is 8 weeks, but could be done much quicker.

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I found this book really good, though I'm rather rusty with my mathematics these days: Astronomy: A Physical Perspective by Mark L. Kutner.
A second hand copy is well worth it.

I've just started working through Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics (by Stephen Gregory & Michael Zeilik), which is also good. Although it's printed in B&W rather than colour, it does at least use SI Units.

Will have to check out the OpenStax book!

PS: As a primer I found a used copy of A Student's Guide to the Mathematics of Astronomy decent too.
 

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Thanks Aramcheck.  Are there exercises to complete in those? The OpenStax book looks good so far. I am just sitting down to check out the first chapter. 

 

Thanks again for everyone's help.

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I loved Ronen Plessers "Introduction to Astronomy" online course from Duke University a few years ago. It was a free to enroll one back when I did it.

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There is also this

An Introduction to Astronomy by Andrew Fraknoi

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Astronomy-Andrew-Fraknoi-ebook/dp/B075FG4KTK/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=introduction+to+Astronomy+andrew+fraknoi&qid=1571655180&sr=8-3

The kindle edition is free and it gives a good level of detail with examples and exercises to reinforce the topics being discussed.  The precis on Amazon says

"...is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of one- or two-semester introductory astronomy courses. The book begins with relevant scientific fundamentals and progresses through an exploration of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. The Astronomy textbook builds student understanding through the use of relevant analogies, clear and non-technical explanations, and rich illustrations. Mathematics is included in a flexible manner..."

 

I'm slowly working my way through it.  

Note: When viewed on a real Kindle all of the pictures, diagrams and photos are (of course) monochrome.  For best effect read it using the Kindle App on a tablet.

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I found this Open University free course especially good as a wide ranging astronomy course: The night sky: Orion.

The course uses the many features of Orion to explore star origins, star types and deep sky objects.

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/the-night-sky-orion/content-section-overview?active-tab=description-tab

John

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I have also done the Open Learn course, The. night sky: Orion.it was very good also.

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7 hours ago, Phillips6549 said:

There is also this

An Introduction to Astronomy by Andrew Fraknoi

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Astronomy-Andrew-Fraknoi-ebook/dp/B075FG4KTK/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=introduction+to+Astronomy+andrew+fraknoi&qid=1571655180&sr=8-3

The kindle edition is free and it gives a good level of detail with examples and exercises to reinforce the topics being discussed.  The precis on Amazon says

"...is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of one- or two-semester introductory astronomy courses. The book begins with relevant scientific fundamentals and progresses through an exploration of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. The Astronomy textbook builds student understanding through the use of relevant analogies, clear and non-technical explanations, and rich illustrations. Mathematics is included in a flexible manner..."

 

I'm slowly working my way through it.  

Note: When viewed on a real Kindle all of the pictures, diagrams and photos are (of course) monochrome.  For best effect read it using the Kindle App on a tablet.

Hey Phil, I noticed this is the same book offered through OpenStax - which the pdf version is linked higher in the thread.  Great minds think alike!

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On 20/10/2019 at 20:59, Mick J said:

Try this OpenStax book, downloadable in different formats, Astronomy from Rice University.

+1 for this. A massive resource for free. I found it very useful.

Also:

Patrick Moore's Astronomy: A Complete Introduction by Sir Patrick Moore/Percy Seymour and Easy Things to See with a Small Telescope by Richard J. Bartlett were good easily digestable reads.

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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