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Back to The Sun and the Total Eclipse of August 2017

The Sun and the Total Eclipse of August 2017, University of Colorado Boulder

54 ratings
25 reviews

About this Course

A total eclipse is one of the most spectacular sights you can ever see! It looks like the end of the world may be at hand. There is a black hole in the sky where the sun should be. Pink flames of solar prominences and long silver streamers of the sun's corona stretch across the sky. It gets cold, and animals do strange things. People scream and shout and cheer, and remember the experience their whole life. But total eclipses are important scientifically as well. They let us see parts of the sun’s atmosphere that are otherwise invisible. A total eclipse presented the first chance to test Einstein’s prediction that matter can bend space – like near a black hole. The best total eclipse in the United States in 40 years happens August 21st, 2017. This course has two primary goals: 1) to get you excited for the total solar eclipse coming in August 2017 and prepare you and your community to safely view it 2) to provide an inviting overview of the science of the sun and the physics of light If you are most interested in preparing for the eclipse, you can hop right into Week 5! If you want the full course experience, and to get some fun scientific context for what you'll be seeing on August 21st, start with Week 1 and move through the course week by week! [Note: if you start with Week 1, you can skip through some of the repeated material once you get to Week 5.] Overall this course will prepare you to... * Safely view the total or partial solar eclipse * Help others watch safely and even make money by leading a “neighborhood watch” of the eclipse * Review fundamental sun science, including the physics of light, how astronomers study the sun, how it formed, how we know what’s inside it, and where the energy that supports life on earth is generated...

Top reviews


Jul 24, 2017

I learned a lot and wished I'd known how interested I am in physics. Looking forward to August 21, 2017. Thanks Dr. Doug for your teaching!

By R

Jul 03, 2017

Excellent Course structure. This course is suitable for all the college going students and for all branches. Thus a universal course.

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25 Reviews

By Bernie Nash

Dec 25, 2017

This is one of the best courses of the many courses I have taken on Coursera.

Dr Duncan is excellent. Down to earth (so to speak) descriptions of quantum phenomena that explain common, everyday solar event. Graphics are terrific. The material is arranged in straight forward manner with excellent instruction by Dr Duncan.

Cannot think of a better way to learn this subject matter.

Thank You!

By daniel eischens

Nov 10, 2017

I enjoyed this course so much, and watched the eclipse the best I could that day.

By Radhika Ravindranath Kulkarni

Nov 02, 2017

Good Knowledgeable course for all the students. This course has increased my knowledge about the solar system and earth.

By Christina Guzy Kuhn

Oct 02, 2017


By narendra prasad

Sep 18, 2017

It was short, sweet, very timely matched with solar eclipse.

By Milton G. Villarroel

Sep 11, 2017

Great preparation course. Totally enjoyable.

By Eugenia Siedler

Sep 09, 2017

The peer review process was confusing when there were no submissions to review. Would like to have more communication about what to do in this instance.

By sumanth reddy yeddula

Sep 06, 2017

Excellent Course

By Dale Gentry

Sep 04, 2017

Excellent information for a brief overview of the eclipse and the science behind it!

By zhen chen

Aug 24, 2017

Interesting course.