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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Analyzing the Universe by Rutgers the State University of New Jersey

73 ratings
26 reviews

About the Course

Using publicly available data from NASA of actual satellite observations of astronomical x-ray sources, we explore some of the mysteries of the cosmos, including neutron stars, black holes, quasars and supernovae. We will analyze energy spectra and time series data to understand how these incredible objects work. We utilize an imaging tool called DS9 to explore the amazing diversity of astronomical observations that have made x-ray astronomy one of the most active and exciting fields of scientific investigation in the past 50 years. Each week we will explore a different facet of x-ray astronomy. Beginning with an introduction to the nature of image formation, we then move on to examples of how our imaging program, DS9, can aid our understanding of real satellite data. You will using the actual data that scientists use when doing their work. Nothing is "canned". You will be able to appreciate the excitement that astronomers felt when they made their important discoveries concerning periodic binary x-ray sources, supernovae and their remnants, and extragalactic sources that have shaped our understanding of cosmology....

Top reviews


Jul 12, 2017

Excellent professor ,made a dummy like me understand...Also I had no problem understanding him, even though English is not my native language... Very interesting subject, well explained. Recommended


May 26, 2018

We learned this fantastic method for analyzing astronomical images using ds9. Dr. Matilsky is a great teacher, he made the difficult topics fun and correctly showed how to solve the problems.

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1 - 25 of 27 Reviews for Analyzing the Universe

By Sabine L

Apr 02, 2017

The lectures are rather simple and easy to follow, but it's impossible to pass the quizzes with only a basic knowledge of mathematics/physics, only for experts. With the information provided in the video lectures you won't recieve a grade, there's a lot of extra work necessary with no other help given then some wiki that only a math genius would understand without any further help.

By Owen M

Feb 10, 2019

Amazing detail, amazing insight. Take your time with this course, and dig in. I may have to take if a few times if I have time.

By Mauro B M

Jan 17, 2019

I love the way the professor explains things, and the fact that this course is evidently tailored to the Coursera audience. Strongly recommended!

By Georgios P

Dec 18, 2018

I took he course a few years ago. It was really interesting and I enjoyed every video I watched!


Nov 17, 2018

Excellent presentation of interesting material

By Katja

Oct 28, 2018

Thank You! Very good course, different with actual data to handle. Thank You Terry Matilsky for your lessons. They were excellent.

By James W

Oct 23, 2018

Fantastic introduction to Astronomy and X-ray observing and analysis.


Oct 19, 2018

Awesome with ds9 tutorial.

By Steve B

Oct 12, 2018

Use of DS9 tool to explain the science is spot on !

By Alejandro R T

Oct 01, 2018

An amazing course. I learned a lot of tools for an astronomical analysis. The topics was very well explicated and the lectures was very helpful.

Will be awesome if there were a week/topic where explain all the ds9's tools and options, or at least a tutorial on a web page.

By Knulp R

Sep 17, 2018

This course provides great insight in how to build understanding by analyzing data.

By Arnaud D

Aug 16, 2018

The course is really interesting ! The lecture are easy to understand, and Prof. Matilsky is fascinating. I truly liked the exercices based on real astronomical data and observation from Chandra Satellite.

By Ajinkya G

Jun 09, 2018

Learning some tools to look at actual data was the best part of the course

By Russell T F

May 26, 2018

We learned this fantastic method for analyzing astronomical images using ds9. Dr. Matilsky is a great teacher, he made the difficult topics fun and correctly showed how to solve the problems.

By Raphaël R

Mar 16, 2018

This course has been a pleasure to follow. The lectures are great, the quirky humour is refreshing and the material is very interesting. The quizzes are on the difficult side, but nothing impossible if you know how to handle and transform equations. The access to actual data from Chandra and other sources is what makes this course amazingly captivating. A huge thank you to Dr. Terry A. Matilsky and his team. I hope you'll make other courses like this in the future. Raphaël Rockus.

By Deleted A

Feb 01, 2017

A very good course to start with while analyzing the astrophysical data with opensource software..... a must learn by all astrophysics student.

By Joy S

May 29, 2019

This professor is an interesting character. Course uses software that, while I was able to download it, froze on my computer.

By Charles R B

Oct 22, 2018

While the subject matter is great, the prof does not go over the maths you will need. He presents a formula, works it out without much explanation, then it's up to you to pull algebra manipulations on a "practicequiz". You don't get to practice before the quiz! You don't get a final exam! You don't get a good explanation until the last week of something you needed a month ago! I found myself reviewing videos and reading material, confirming the answer was NOT to be found there, and then researching online over and over and over again. I passed the course yet I STILL don't understand the quick energy analysis peaks, etc. The DS9 suite is outdated and very Win 3.x style of clunky. There is no "undo" button, and so you can find yourself restarting everything several times. It also doesn't magnify the font; available only in eyestrain-o-vision. While this has nothing to do with the course execution, it's an additional annoyance not to have a current tech program. I was resolved to understand Xray analysis, otherwise I would have dropped such a poorly taught course in the third week entirely due to poor "teaching".

By Jonathan G

Mar 28, 2018

Fascinating but way too much math

By Yash G

Mar 16, 2018


By Nataly

Feb 18, 2018

My first and best course for now! I am very happy to touch this topic, thank you very much!

By Akshay K

Jan 09, 2018

Great Course for first steps in analyzing the universe

By Shreyam P K

Sep 17, 2017

Good intro to DS9

By Themistocles S

Jul 30, 2017

This is a great course for anyone who is interested in X-ray astronomy: pulsars, black holes, white dwarfs, quasars, neutron stars, etc. The professor Dr. T.Matilsky is exceptional together with his team at Rutgers University. A close encounter with a very interesting and important region in knowledge. This is not an easy promenade but this is rewarding. Hands on encounter with grave science.

By Aashish G

Jul 17, 2017

Good course. Great data given to work on. Excellent instructor.