I'm just getting into astronomy, having had some interest since I was a kid, and as I join club and sign up for courses and watch shows or movies, I'll try to capture my thoughts here for folks that might follow behind in case they're useful. I'll be playing with the organization a bit to try to find the best configuration.
Click here for my astronomy images.
Remote Observatory Rental Services
Here are my reviews of the various edcuational services that I have found in my astronomy journey.
CommuniVersity at the Unviversity of Cincinnati offers a few classes, hosted and taught by the folks from the Cincinnati Observatory. They cover the history of the Observatory and basic stargazing. As of March 2019 they cost $35 each, and generally interesting, but pretty basic.
Check out the full class-by-class reviews here. or check out the rating below.
- Behind the Scenes at the Observatory #1207
- Stargazing 101 #1209
- Tour of the Universe #134313
- Binocular Astronomy #1042
- How to Use YOUR Telescope #10322
The Great Courses
There are a bunch of online course websites, some with AppleTV or Roku apps, portending to offer college-level classes. Of those, The Great Courses seems to be the best, and I think (I haven't confirmed this) it's because they were publishing DVDs for years before web-teaching was really a thing. Some of their classes are quite expensive, but fortunately my library (the Cincinnati Public Library) offers both DVDs of many of their courses, but has a partnership with Kanopy which allows me to watch a select few titles each month.
Check out the full course-by-course reviews here. or check out the rating below.
- The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy
- A Visual Guide to the Universe with the Smithsonian
- Our Night Sky
For my money, Cosmos is the gold standard and everyone should check it out. Fortunately the Library has copies to borrow, so you can check it out anytime for free. Check out the full episode reviews here.
Meh. I used to like Neil deGrasse Tyson more than I do now. I'm not sure why, but at some point he jumped the shark at some point. The production value is excellent though, and it's a decent update to the original. But, sadly, it's mostly a brainwashing attempt for social justice and climate change causes. Even after espousing the scientific method and skepticism he goes onto preach the religion of global warming and obedience to the 'consensus' that warming is happening, that it's caused by CO2 emissions, and that man is at the heart. I don't believe science should bow to consensus, and I believe there is a plausible argument to be made for sunspot cycles, but on this cause, skepticism is not to be tolerated. It's too bad.
Udemy has some more basic courses, so they'll not all taught by P.hd. professors as the Great Courses ones are, but they are also cheaper. By the way, all of these services are constantly running (and sending you offers for) new deals and lower prices, so if you see something you like maybe wait a week or two, you can probably get it cheaper. Anyway, I had high hopes for some of these, and got a few fairly affordably, but found they were a little disappointing. And, unlike the others, I haven't found these available for free anywhere. Check out the full course-by-course reviews here.