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"Understanding the Universe" - Course at University of California at Berkeley

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"The Teaching Company" offers a variety of outstanding courses for adult learners, including "Understanding the Universe," taught by astronomy professor Alex Filippenko of the University of California at Berkeley.

The course consists of 96 lectures, each 30 minutes long, and provides, in essence, an entire year's worth of a college undergraduate level introductory course on astronomy. Dr. Filippenko is an outstanding lecturer who has won five "best teacher" awards at the university. In this course, he uses diagrams, computer simulations, videos, thousands of astronomical photos and other visuals. The course is available on DVD and is non-technical in nature, so students do not need to know any mathematics. Best of all, it is relatively affordable, especially when the course goes on "sale," which is fairly frequently. Although full retail price is $800, the course usually is available on sale for just $230. In 1998, he and his team of astronomers were credited with discovering that the expansion of the universe from the Big Bang is actually speeding up. The course is up to date and includes information on cutting edge recent discoveries such as evidence of water on Mars and Saturn's moon, Enceladus; exoplanet discoveries; gamma ray bursts, dark energy; and supermassive black holes.


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