The Science of the Solar System

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Opleiderscore: starstarstarstar_halfstar_border 7,2 Coursera (CC) heeft een gemiddelde beoordeling van 7,2 (uit 6 ervaringen)

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About this course: 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 memo…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: 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.

Created by:  Caltech
  • Taught by:  Mike Brown, Professor

    Planetary Astronomy
Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.8 stars Average User Rating 4.8See what learners said Coursework

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Caltech Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future. Caltech's mission is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Unit 1: Water on Mars (week 1)



11 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Science of the Solar System
  2. Discussion Prompt: Welcome! Please introduce yourself.
  3. Video: Lecture 1.01: Early views of Mars
  4. Discussion Prompt: What's in the sky right now?
  5. Video: Lecture 1.02: Mars has canals!
  6. Video: Lecture 1.03: Taking the temperature of Mars
  7. Video: Lecture 1.04: Mars DOES have water (in the atmosphere)!
  8. Reading: Note on the next lecture
  9. Video: Lecture 1.05: Heating and composition of the polar caps
  10. Video: Lecture 1.06: Let's fly to Mars
  11. Video: Lecture 1.07: The first missions to Mars
  12. Video: Lecture 1.08: Water on earth
  13. Video: Lecture 1.09: Mariner 9 -- Mars had FLOWING water!
  14. Discussion Prompt: Groundwater sapping or not?
  15. Video: Lecture 1.10: Viking and the start of modern Martian science

Graded: Quiz 1

WEEK 2


Unit 1: Water on Mars (week 2)



10 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 1.11: Craters and surface ages
  2. Video: Lecture 1.12: Outflow channels
  3. Video: Lecture 1.13:Valley Networks
  4. Video: Lecture 1.14: Climate cycles on Mars
  5. Discussion Prompt: Polar layered terrains?
  6. Video: Lecture 1.15: Was early Mars warmer and wetter?
  7. Video: Lecture 1.16: Atmospheric escape
  8. Video: Lecture 1.17 Martian topography
  9. Video: Lecture 1.18: Gamma ray spectroscopy and subsurface water
  10. Video: Lecture 1.19: Glaciers on Mars!
  11. Video: Lecture 1.20 Origin of low latitude ice

Graded: Quiz 2

WEEK 3


Unit 1: Water on Mars (week 3)



10 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Lecture 1.21: Evolution of the interior
  2. Video: Lecture 1.22: Thermal spectroscopy and mineral identification
  3. Video: Lecture 1.23: Geology from the Opportunity rover
  4. Video: Lecture 1.24: Geochemistry from the Opportunity rover
  5. Video: Lecture 1.25: Introduction to guest lecturers
  6. Reading: Note on the next lectures
  7. Video: Lecture 1.26: Mineralogy on Mars, Part 1
  8. Video: Lecture 1.27: Mineralogy on Mars, Part 2
  9. Video: Lecture 1.28: Results from the Curiosity Rover, Part 1
  10. Video: lecture 1.29: Results from the Curiosity Rover, Part 2
  11. Video: Lecture 1.30: Where was the water on Mars?
  12. Discussion Prompt: Where was the water on Mars?

Graded: Quiz 3

WEEK 4


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



11 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Reading: Note on the next section
  2. Video: Lecture 2.01: Introduction to Jupiter
  3. Video: Lecture 2.02: Measuring density
  4. Discussion Prompt: Transit of Venus!
  5. Video: Lecture 2.03: Using density
  6. Video: Lecture 2.04: Hydrostatic equilibrium
  7. Video: Lecture 2.05: Hydrogen equation of state
  8. Video: Lecture 2.06: Heat transport
  9. Video: Lecture 2.07: Theoretical internal structure
  10. Video: Lecture 2.08: A core from gravity?
  11. Video: Lecture 2.09: Magnetic fields
  12. Video: Lecture 2.10: The upper atmosphere and the Galileo probe
  13. Video: Lecture 2.11: Picture models

Graded: Quiz 4

WEEK 5


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



10 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 2.12: Planetesimal formation
  2. Video: Lecture 2.13: Core formation
  3. Video: Lecture 2.14: Core-collapse vs. Disk instability
  4. Discussion Prompt: Core collapse vs. disk instability?
  5. Video: Lecture 2.15: Saturn and the ice giants
  6. Video: Lecture 2.16: Discovering hot Jupiters
  7. Video: Lecture 2.17: Densities of hot Jupiters
  8. Video: Lecture 2.18: Inflating hot Jupiters
  9. Video: Lecture 2.19: Kepler and the sub-Neptunes
  10. Video: Lecture 2.20: Exoplanet spectroscopy
  11. Video: Lecture 2.21: Juno and future exploration
  12. Discussion Prompt: Juno results?

Graded: Quiz 5

WEEK 6


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



12 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 3.01: Introduction to the small bodies
  2. Video: Lecture 3.02: The formation of small bodies
  3. Video: Lecture 3.03: The formation of terrestrial planets
  4. Video: Lecture 3.04: The surface density of the solar system
  5. Video: Lecture 3.05: An ode to comets
  6. Video: Lecture 3.06: The composition of comets
  7. Video: Lecture 3.07: Where do comets come from?
  8. Video: Lecture 3.08: The formation of the Oort cloud
  9. Video: Lecture 3.09: Meteorites and the beginning of the solar system
  10. Discussion Prompt: Lead-lead dating
  11. Video: Lecture 3.10: Types of meteorites: Chondrites
  12. Video: Lecture 3.11: Types of meteorites: Achondrites
  13. Video: Lecture 3.12: Asteroids and meteorite delivery

Graded: Quiz 6

WEEK 7


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



9 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 3.13: Asteroid compositions
  2. Video: Lecture 3.14 : Pictures of asteroids
  3. Video: Lecture 3.15: Asteroid hazards
  4. Video: Lecture 3.16: The Kuiper belt
  5. Video: Lecture 3.17: Properties of dwarf planets
  6. Video: Lecture 3.18: Dynamical instabilities
  7. Discussion Prompt: Lucy!
  8. Video: Lecture 3.19:The Grand Tack
  9. Video: Lecture 3.20: Planet Nine
  10. Video: Lecture 3.21: A trip to the Subaru telescope

Graded: Quiz 7

WEEK 8


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



10 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 4.01: Introduction to life
  2. Discussion Prompt: Life as we do (or don't) know it
  3. Video: Lecture 4.02: Photosynthesis
  4. Video: Lecture 4.03: Water
  5. Video: Lecture 4.04: Alternative energy sources
  6. Video: Lecture 4.05: History of life on Earth
  7. Video: Lecture 4.06: Mars -- The Viking experiement
  8. Video: Lecture 4.07: Mars -- Microbial hitchhikers
  9. Video: Lecture 4.08: Mars -- Methane?
  10. Video: Lecture 4.09: Mars -- Methane!!
  11. Video: Lecture 4.10: Mars -- a habitable environment

Graded: Quiz 8

WEEK 9


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



11 videos expand


  1. Video: Lecture 4.11: Oceans on Europa
  2. Video: Lecture 4.11: Energy on Europa
  3. Video: Lecture 4.12: Exploring Europa
  4. Discussion Prompt: Europa Clipper!
  5. Video: Lecture 4.13: Enceladus
  6. Video: Lecture 4.14: Introduction to Titan
  7. Video: Lecture 4.15: Weird life on Titan
  8. Video: Lecture 4.17: Habitable zones
  9. Video: Lecture 4.18: Detecting exo-life
  10. Video: Lecture 4.19: Looking around M-dwarfs
  11. Discussion Prompt: Planets!
  12. Video: Lecture 4.20: A mission to find life in the solar system
  13. Video: Lecture 4.21: All good things must come to an end

Graded: Quiz 9

WEEK 10


Final exam



4 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Reading: Bonus material
  2. Video: Bonus: The formation of the moon
  3. Video: Bonus: What we used to think about Sedna (before we knew about Planet Nine!)
  4. Video: Bonus: Seasons on Titan
  5. Video: Bonus: Why Pluto had to die

Graded: Final exam

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