The Earth, the sun and moon, the planets, comets, asteroids and meteors - the solar system is all around us, yet how much do we truly know about it? When we explore the Earth and the layout of the sky, what can we learn about the meanings of the day, the year, the seasons, and the constellations? Which physical laws control what we see, and what are the natures of the celestial bodies? Professor James Kaler - a former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow and author of many acclaimed books on astronomy - answers these questions, taking us on a fascinating and informative voyage through the Solar System.The heart of this course examines the planets themselves, and reveals how they are constructed and how they differ from one another. By studying the physical astronomy of all the planets in the Solar System, we can attempt to understand their true nature. Ultimately, these lectures will bring us to a greater understanding of the Solar System's creation, which brings us again back to the beginning and what it means to us as we look outward from our rotating Earth.More
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Wow... just wow
Boy, did I learn a lot from this one! Professor Kaler tends to rush through some of the details from time to time but, overall, this was a primer on astronomy that will get me looking to the skies more frequently and with a lot more comprehension of what's up there. Excellent for wanna-be stargazers and parents of inquiring kids. Do you know why the moon comes up at different times of day? Why one side of the moon always faces us? Why Pluto is considered a planet by some and not others? You will know all these and much, much more after listening..