Created by:  Caltech

  • Mike Brown

    Taught by:  Mike Brown, Professor

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

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Ratings and Reviews
Rated 4.8 out of 5 of 163 ratings

This is an excellent course. It covers a wide range of interesting topics in a technical but accessible way. The information is "layered" such that students of different technical backgrounds can all participate and each take the appropriate level of detail away. Dr. Brown communicates clearly and engagingly, and he is an astronomical "rock star" taking time to teach all comers.

Mike Brown is an excellent and funny lecturer, and I learned something interesting from every lecture.

Could you add a sixth star, just for this course please? To this day I have attended something like 15 courses on Coursera and this is the best one hands down. Not only is Mike Brown one of the top planetary scientists in the whole world (and in this course, you'll follow some of his research as he is doing it – AWESOME!) but he is also a terrific teacher. If you take this course you won't only learn a bunch of facts about the solar system, you will learn how to think like a planetary scientist (ok, you'll start at least). The course is very well structured, very comprehensive, a massive amount of data is presented in a very digestible way, you're exposed to most of the theories which are out there, there is little maths (unfortunately, some will think, but don't worry there is plenty of scientific reasoning) and it is introduced in a piecemeal way and very nicely explained. Mike Brown is enthusiastic, passionate, but not so much that he cannot relate to someone who doesn’t share his passion with him (as was my case when I began following this course). He is nice and relaxed but don't act as if he was your pale. There are guest lecturers and the quality of their teaching is on average significantly lower than Brown's but don't worry, even when he is not there, he is still there: he has annotated their slides when their presentations were unclear. Plus, it's nice to have a glimpse at what experts say on the topics on which Brown is not an expert. Is there room any for improvement? Maybe there could have been more recaps of the evidence in the sessions on water of Mars but I'm quibbling here. If you like science, you'll like this course. If you don't, you will (well, at least it's very likely you will.) Beware though, this course will make you sad. You will be sad not to be able to fly to Los Angeles and enroll at Caltech to study planetary science under Brown's supervision (no, this is NOT a joke).

And excellent, deep yet accessible introduction into what we know about the solar system, the science behind our knowledge, and the big questions under investigation.