Astro with Skynet: Our Place In Space!

In Astronomy with Skynet: Our Place In Space!, we learn how to use robotic telescopes in the Chilean Andes and around the world, and use these telescopes to observe planets, moons, asteroids, binary and variable stars, supernovae, star-forming regions, star clusters, and galaxies.  Through these observations, we explore the following topics in eight interactive lessons, or labs:

  • The seasons
  • The Galilean revolution
  • The cosmic distance ladder
  • The Great Debate
  • Dark matter
  • Hubble’s law
  • Dark energy

For a summary of what we do in each lab, and a few sample labs, click here.

There is no textbook, but you will need to register with WebAssign, a benefit corporation with whom we have partnered to produce and administer our interactive labs, as well as to package these with supplementary materials.

All of our labs feature video summaries (for example).  Most of our labs also feature shorter video tutorials, primarily to help students learn how to use Skynet, as well as Afterglow — our unique, web-based, professional-quality-but-easy-to-use image analysis software — and our web-based graphing tool.

You will receive a Skynet/Afterglow username and password typically within a day, giving you priority access to our telescopes (see also 1, 2, 3) and guest access to other Skynet telescopes around the world.  You will also receive a small lab kit in the mail, typically within a week.

The course is self-paced.  WebAssign automatically grades each question as you answer it, and offers an explanation of the correct answer.  Answer 50% of the questions correctly and receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course.  Answer 75% correctly and receive a Certificate of Mastery.

To enroll, click here!


Educators:  If you are interested in using this course, or components of it, at your institution, click here, or email us at introastro at unc dot edu.