Jason Shilling Kendall: Citizen Astronomer

William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Hunter College

Introductory Astronomy Online Course

My own personal MOOC.
This is a series of introductory lectures on astronomy and astrophysics. My goal is to eventually have a complete online course covering nearly all areas of introductory astronomy in lecture form. In doing this series, I will be violating a number of "good video" practices, including video runtime length, number of technical events, and the use of flashy graphics and music. The reason is that I am trying to demonstrate what it means to internalize and talk about a subject off-the-cuff for 15 minutes or more. It is not often that people do this, and frequently, you only get this in a full college course, which this series seeks to emulate. This can also be used to supplement your own coursework in your astronomy class.

  1. Finding our way around the sky, and our Place in Space
  2. Earth's orbit and tilt. The Seasons, the Year and the Day
  3. Lunacy! Phases, Eclipses and Orbit of the Moon.
  4. Distance, Parallax and Parsecs
  5. How Round the Earth? How Far the Sun?
  6. I Got the Sun in the Mornin' and the Moon at Night...
  7. Why did we once think Earth was at the center?
  8. The Dawning of Astrophysics
  9. Galileo, the Father of Science
  10. Galileo's Denouement
  11. Newton's Laws as well as his Guidelines
  12. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Equation?
  13. And Yet It Moves: Galileo Vindicated
  14. Wave Motions Everywhere
  15. The Emerging Ideas about Light
  16. Newton's Corpuscles of Light: So Close, but So Far....
  17. The End of Newton's Theory of Light
  18. Faraday, Maxwell and the Aether
  19. The Speed of Light and the Michelson Morley Experiment
  20. The Great Relativistic Conundrum
  21. Special Relativity's Implications
  22. Special Relativity in Detail
  23. General Relativity Raison d'être
  24. General Relativity Curvature and Tests
  25. General Relativity: The Bending of Light's Path
  26. General Relativity, The Slowing of Time by Gravity
  27. The Tides
  28. The Nature of Light, Part 1
  29. The Nature of Light, Part 2
  30. Stellar Brightness and Magnitudes
  31. Color and Temperature
  32. Kirchhoff's Laws of Spectroscopy
  33. Atoms, Elements and Isotopes
  34. The History of the Atom
  35. The Bohr Model of the Atom
  36. Telescopes, part 1: Refraction and Reflection
  37. Telescopes, part 2: Angular Resolution and Seeing
  38. Telescopes, part 3: Plate Scale, Focal Ratio and Magnification
  39. Stellar Spectral Classification

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Amateur Astronomers Association of New York Astronomical Society of the Pacific