Observing the Moon and the Sun

The Great Courses
Show More

Related videos

Seeing and Navigating the Sky
Episode 2 of Our Night Sky Series
The naked eye is a powerful instrument: if you know how to use it. Learn the best times and conditions for observing, how to identify the positions and magnitudes of stars and planets, how the sky changes over the course of a night, how to use astronomical maps such as…
Comet Encounter
PBS
Comets have fascinated, even terrified us for thousands of years. This year, a particularly massive chunk of ice and rock is hurtling our way, an object that will fascinate billions and should create the space show of the century. Right now Comet Ison, somewhere between 1 and 10 kilometers in…
The Cat's Eye Nebula: A Stellar Demise
Episode 5 of Experiencing Hubble
Turning from star birth to star death, get a preview of the sun's distant future by examining the Cat's Eye Nebulae. Such planetary nebulae (which have nothing to do with planets) are the exposed debris of dying stars and are among the most beautiful objects in the Hubble gallery.
Stars in Their Courses—Orbital Mechanics
Newton was the first to realize that objects could, in theory, be sent into orbit around Earth. Explore how this works in practice, using the ideas of energy and angular momentum to study how satellites, moons, planets, and stars move through space.
Revolution in the Heavens
Drawing on ideas and observations of Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler achieved a great insight about gravity by discovering three laws of planetary motion, relating to the mathematics of orbits. The cause of planetary motion, he determined, must lie in the sun.
James May - On the Moon
BBC
One giant leap As a child Top Gear presenter (and space buff) James May dreamed of being an astronaut. He was fascinated by the engineering that had made man's voyages into space and the famous trip to the moon possible. So now it's time for James to don his space…
Why Study Exoplanets?
Learn about the exciting mission of exoplanetary science--the study of planets orbiting stars beyond the Sun. Review the eight planets in our solar system, which provide a baseline for understanding the more than 1,000 worlds recently discovered in our region of the Milky Way galaxy.
Our Nearest Exoplanetary Neighbors
Pinpoint the location of the nearest exoplanetary systems to Earth. First, get the big picture on the layout of our Milky Way galaxy, its size, and the Sun's position. Also learn why the Kepler spacecraft focused on exoplanets much more distant than those targeted by the Doppler technique.
Using Binoculars and Backyard Telescopes
Episode 3 of Our Night Sky Series
There are many choices when selecting binoculars or a telescope. Learn what to look for in light-gathering power, optical design, magnification, mounts, and other features. Professor Murphy also suggests several tips for getting the best observing experience out of your equipment.
Voyager: To the Final Frontier
BBC
This is the story of the most extraordinary journey in human exploration, the Voyager space mission. In 1977 two unmanned spacecraft were launched by Nasa, heading for distant worlds. It would be the first time any man-made object would ever visit the farthest planets of the solar system - Jupiter,…
Planets Circling Two Stars
See how data from the Kepler spacecraft confirms a scenario straight out of the movie Star Wars: a planet with two suns. Investigate the tricky orbital mechanics of these systems. A double star also complicates the heating and cooling cycle on a planet. However, the view is spectacular!
The Million-Body Problem
Consider the problem of gravitational interactions between millions of bodies, such as the countless stars in a galaxy. Amazingly, mathematics can reveal useful information even in these complicated cases. Discover how the analysis of the motions of galaxies led to the prediction of dark matter.