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September 23, 2023


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Astronomy C12: The Planets (Fall 2014, UC Berkeley). Instructor: Professor Geoffrey W. Marcy. The Planets - A tour of the mysteries and inner workings of our solar system.

What are planets made of? Why do they orbit the sun the way they do? How do planets form, and what are they made of? Why do some bizarre moons have oceans, volcanoes, and ice floes? What makes the Earth hospitable for life? Is the Earth a common type of planet or some cosmic quirk? This course will introduce basic physics, chemistry, and math to understand planets, moons, rings, comets, asteroids, atmospheres, and oceans. Understanding other worlds will help us save our own planet and help us understand our place in the universe.

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Course Logistics; Tour of the Solar System Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – Exploration of the Solar System Unlimited
  • Lecture 03 – The Rotating Sky, The Seasons, Phases of the Moon Unlimited
  • Lecture 04 – Eclipses, Geocentric vs Heliocentric Theory Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – The Nature of Scientific Theories, Giants of Scientific Thinking, Astrology Unlimited
  • Lecture 06 – The Physics of the Universe: Gravity, Velocity and Acceleration, Newton’s Laws Unlimited
  • Lecture 07 – Tides, Energy: Potential and Kinetic, Momentum, Angular Momentum Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – Light: The Cosmic Messenger Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – Light and Origin of the Solar System Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars Unlimited
  • Lecture 11 – The Interior of the Earth Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – Mars Unlimited
  • Lecture 13 – Planetary Atmospheres Unlimited
  • Lecture 14 – Global Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect Unlimited
  • Lecture 15 – The Sun: Our Star – What is the Energy Source for the Sun? Unlimited
  • Lecture 16 – The Surface of the Sun: Photosphere, Chromosphere, Corona, Sunspot Cycle Unlimited
  • Lecture 17 – Giant Planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune Unlimited
  • Lecture 18 – Rings and Moons of the Giant Planets Unlimited
  • Lecture 19 – Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites Unlimited
  • Lecture 20 – Comets and Pluto: The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud Unlimited
  • Lecture 21 – Planetary Systems around Other Stars Unlimited
  • Lecture 22 – Planetary Systems around Other Stars (cont.) Unlimited
  • Lecture 23 – Origins of Life and Evolution of Life Unlimited
  • Lecture 24 – Searching for Life in the Universe: From Microbes to Intelligence Unlimited
  • Lecture 25 – The Origin, Expansion, and Dark Side of the Universe Unlimited

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