What Are Popular Online Astronomy Courses?

Online astronomy courses that allow you the flexibility of studying at home are available for credit and as free, non-credit courses. Read on to learn what astronomy courses are out there. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online Astronomy Courses

Online astronomy courses cover topics related to the study of the sky and the greater solar system. You may be able to take classes as part of a degree program in physics, astronomy, or other field related to the natural sciences. Lectures and class assignments are often part of these programs, as well as online materials and sources. Along with online access, some courses may have certain software requirements.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Common Courses Introduction to Astronomy, Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space, Galaxies and Cosmology
Degrees/Certificates Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees
Online Availability Partly online (there are lab components that need to be taken on-campus)
Possible Careers Astronomer, Professor
Median Salary (2018) $105,680 (for astronomers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% growth (for astronomers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Introduction to Astronomy

You'll get a general overview of astronomy in this course, which will provide a foundation for further study. The following topics are likely to be included:

  • History of astronomy
  • Observation techniques
  • The planets
  • Spectroscopy
  • Tools for exploring the universe

This class may also include a laboratory component, which may mean studying the sky with the use of a telescope or by some other means. Other key concepts that could be explored in this course include the study of planetary systems, star and planetary formations, galaxies, black holes, eclipses, supernovae, magnetic fields, background radiation and modern space exploration.

The Solar System

This course offers an introduction to basic principles concerning the solar system. You'll study aspects of the solar system, such as planetary orbits, rings, meteorites, asteroids, neutron stars, comets, and the sun. You may also learn about stellar explosions, planetary atmospheres, planetary cratering, cosmology, and charting the sky.

Observing Stars and Planets

This course will teach you how to observe, recognize and chart the physical objects of the universe, whether by using the naked eye or looking through a telescope. You'll need to spend time outside at night making observations and charting them in a notebook.

By the end of this course, you'll have an understanding of such things as astronomical computing, image and data processing, recognizing and classifying stars, the earth's rotation and spectroscopy. You can also gain a better understanding of how our earth fits into the solar system and the larger universe.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools