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The Science of the Solar System (Coursera)

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Learn about the science behind the current exploration of the solar system in this free class. Use principles from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology to understand the latest from Mars, comprehend the outer solar system, ponder planets outside our solar system, and search for habitability in our neighborhood and beyond.

This course is generally taught at an advanced level assuming a prior knowledge of undergraduate math and physics, but the majority of the concepts and lectures can be understood without these prerequisites. The quizzes and final exam are designed to make you think critically about the material you have learned rather than to simply make you memorize facts. The class is expected to be challenging but rewarding.


Syllabus

WEEK 1

Unit 1: Water on Mars (week 1)

WEEK 2

Unit 1: Water on Mars (week 2)

WEEK 3

Unit 1: Water on Mars (week 3)

Graded: Homework, Unit 1 (Water on Mars)

WEEK 4

Unit 2: The insides of giant planets (week 1)

WEEK 5

Unit 2: The insides of giant planets (week 2)

Graded: Homework, Unit 2 (Insides of Giant Planets)

WEEK 6

Unit 3: Big questions from small bodies (week 1)

WEEK 7

Unit 3: Big questions from small bodies (week 2)

Graded: Homework, Unit 3 (Small bodies)

WEEK 8

Unit 4: Life in the solar system (week 1)

WEEK 9

Unit 4: Life in the solar system and beyond (week 2)

Graded: Homework, Unit 4

WEEK 10

Final exam

Graded: Final exam

ENROLL IN COURSE