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Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets

Australian National University via edX


The discovery of exoplanets is one of the greatest revolutions in modern astrophysics. Twenty years ago, we had no idea whether any of the countless stars out there beyond our solar system had planets or not.

Today, things are totally different. Over 1,000 planetary systems have been discovered. The universe is teeming with planets. And what strange planets they are - hot Jupiter-like planets skimming the surfaces of their stars, cold and lonely free-floating planets far from any star, planets made of diamond, planets with rain made of glass, super-Earths and even planets orbiting neutron stars. In this course, we’ll bring you up-to-date with the latest research on exoplanets, and how this research has revolutionised our understanding of the formation of solar systems like our own.

This course is designed for people who would like to get a deeper understanding of these mysteries than that offered by popular science articles and shows. You will need reasonable high-school level mathematics and physics to get the most out of this course.

This is the second of four ANUx courses which together make up the Australian National University's first year astrophysics program. It follows on from the introductory course on the Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe, and is followed by courses on the violent universe and on cosmology. These courses compromise the Astrophysics XSeries. Learn more about the XSeries program and register for all the courses in the series today!

Taught by

Paul Francis and Brian Schmidt


5.0 rating, based on 9 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at edX based on 10 ratings

Start your review of Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets

  • This is the best series of astronomical courses on the Internet. The teaching style, the mysteries (Yes, the mysteries in which you're investigating a made-up universe and play around with it! Or your job is to try to save the world!), the homework sets - everything was perfect. The easiest thing is to take these courses in order, so that Cosmology doesn't surprise you.

    After these courses, I gained so much interest, so I switched a bit from my theoretical mathematics background to astrophysics, and I'm loving it in here. So, it can really change your life. This is the best thing.
  • Hal Snyder
    Second of four-part series from Paul Francis and Brian Schmidt introduces the subject of exoplanets and tells us the state of the art. Fun, interesting, light math, good pace for people with day jobs. :-)
  • I found the ANU Astrophysics MOOCs quite engaging, with the latest information being presented. There is a little bit of mathematics, but mostly you just need to think through the problems.
  • Brian Khor Jia Jiunn
    This course is perfect for beginners who want to understand more about research techniques and unsolved problems about the universe.
  • Evgeniy Mikhailovich Zheltonozhskiy
  • Peri Ost
  • Klaas Naaijkens
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