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The Open University

In the Night Sky: Orion

The Open University via FutureLearn


From the basics of astronomy to the science behind the birth of a star, this course will change the way you see the night sky.

Starting with Orion’s famous nebula, where new stars and planets are formed, you’ll take a look at the seven brightest stars that make up this constellation using high-quality images from telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

You’ll find out about exoplanets, which may hold the secrets to life outside of the solar system, the galaxy Milky Way, of which our solar system is but one small part and the history of the universe from the Big Bang to the present.

All Open University Science short courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.

You do not need a professional telescope for this course, but you may find at least a pair of binoculars extremely useful.

No prior experience of the subject is required.


  • Beginning the journey
    • Meet Orion
    • What are constellations?
    • Mapping the stars
  • Travelling from star birth to star death
    • Birth of a star
    • Life of a star
    • Death of a star
  • From the beginning
    • The Big Bang
    • Galaxies (including the Milky Way)
    • Observing the stars
  • Our place in the universe
    • The habitable zone
    • Planet formation
    • Exoplanets

Taught by

Monica Grady


4.5 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.3 rating at FutureLearn based on 62 ratings

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