Category Archives: Freebies

Free Lecture 02: Universe Scale, and Light 1

A lecture to study the nerdy part of the Big Universe. Do you think it’s a good way to kick-start your Sunday morning? It’s what I did. It was a mind-blowing experience. But what intrigues me is:  Why is this Universe so big?

Lecture 02: Universe Scale, and Light

The lecture video is embedded below but also available here in MP4 format.
Additionally, slides used in the lecture are embedded below but also are available here in Powerpoint format.
Questions after the lecture? Please ask them in here.

Wikipedia entries:
Earth’s atmosphere
Black body
Wein’s Law
Stefan Boltzmann Law

What Interested ME in this lecture.

Web sites
Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
Atlas of the Universe
Alpha Centauri is a system.
proxima Centauri is part of  this system.
Black Body Radiation
The hotter you are the more you radiate light. This is why we say “she’s Hot”.
Humans emit light. On the higher stratas of humanity, if you’re spiritually high you shine or radiate.
Human beings emit infra-red light. That is the reason in infrared light, people glow.
Black Body Spectra
Blue is hot than red.
White is hot than blue.
I believe Black is hotter than white. though we can’t see black light. Is Dark Matter black light. Has this been proved scientifically?
Open Cluster
I appreciated the saying Open stars are like Jewel Box
Last slide
We’ll be ending early today. WAeee!!!
Revisiting Albireo. Albireo was mentioned in Turn Left to Orion.

Astronomy Lectures for FREE

Astronomy has been lately like a drug on me. So I have decided that I should study it (though at my own pace) but study it seriously. So I was looking up for astronomy lectures and I stumbled upon this MichiganTech University lectures on astronomy for first year freshers completely free of charge. Astronomy is considered as an expensive hobby per se…..but much to my astonishment much of astronomy stuff  could be acquired on the web for completely FREE.

So I am enrolling myself for this study and perhaps sit for an exam too later….I can’t say about that. But I think giving some of my time to learning something fascinating is worthwhile.

And though there are calculations and stuff requiring mental exercise and quite of reading yet I am jumping on this. By the way anyone interested to join the bandwagon, just hop on.

So, just to give a quick intro of what’s it’s all about.


“Posted in this forum are the lectures of a free introductory astronomy course as taught by me, APOD co-editor and university professor Robert Nemiroff, at Michigan Technological University in the fall of 2008. Each lecture of the class is included here, one lecture per thread. Each lecture thread should contain at least one video lecture and one Powerpoint file containing the slides that I used. I was proud that I used no textbook for this class but instead relied on strong Wikipedia articles. This made the class especially Internet friendly and particularly conducive to this type of online forum. Many students saw these exact lectures in Fall 2008, took online quizzes not available here, and received college credit at Michigan Tech.

General astronomy questions, no matter how basic, can be asked in the greater Asterisk forums. Please do not send email to the address shown in the video. Unfortunately, I expect to move on to other projects and would like this project to run autonomously. I therefore ask that if someone knows the answer to an asked question, please go right ahead and answer that question. Please do not wait for me to answer. On occasion, however, I do peruse The Asterisk’s forums.

Next, I expect that I have made several mistakes. I cannot correct the video, but please do point these out in The Asterisk forums so that future online students get the best information possible. Past that, the general rules for posting on The Asterisk bulletin board still apply as much as reasonably possible. These rules can be summed up as “be polite.”

Over the first few months of 2010, this thread and this very post may be edited without notice for clarity and technology upgrades. If you yourself have suggestions as to how to make this free online course better or more accessible, please post that on the general discussion (Open Space) forum of The Asterisk.

– Robert Nemiroff (RJN)”

( So for any further questions or queries just throw yourself to the forum, not me either) Yeah but we can discuss.


  • The lectures are being given by Robert Nemiroff
  • Lectures are all completely free.
  • You aren’t required to buy books. Reference material would be from Wikipedia.
  • Lecture notes are not transcribed.
  • Lectures are online.
  • Lectures are accompanied by a power point slide.
  • There’s a catch: Apod (Astronomy Pictures of the day would be used to explain the mysteries of the universe.  They start from September 1rst 2008.


  • There are few mistakes which can be overlooked.
  • If you want to sit for an exam you have to pay MichiganTecH. I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me now.
  • Lecture notes are not transcribed.

So here we start

I hope I am not infringing any rights by posting this lecture here. I really didn’t get in contact with the lecturer. Nevertheless I would like to thank him for this stuff.

Lecture 01: A Grand Tour of the Universe

The lecture video is embedded below but also available here in MP4 format.
Additionally, slides used in the lecture are embedded below but also are available here in Powerpoint format.
Questions after the lecture? Please ask them in here.

The Lecture.

Wikipedia entries:

Electromagnetic spectrum
Light year

Download Stellarium free

What is Stellarium?

Stellarium is a Planetarium on your desktop . That is what it is.

You see the sky ?

Have your laptop with you?

Stellarium is installed?

If you said yes to the above ?

Start Stellarium

And Behold!! The sky wherever you are is on your screen.

Now just look up and down, up and down, up and down.

You will be able to surf around the sky in a few minutes.

Short but sweet

Stellarium, it helps you to learn the sky a lot.

  1. Learning the constellations: Names of the 88 constellations.
  2. Know about the boundaries of the constellations: Constellation Lines
  3. Astro Art of the constellations.
  4. Know about the major and minor stars in the constellations: You know their minutest details, like how far is the star, e.g:  Rigel: 772.88 years light years, the RA/DE, the parallax, the star magnitude and a lot of other details.
  5. Knowing about the planets
  6. Knowing about the asteroids
  7. Individual Stars
  8. Binary Stars
  9. Nebulae
  10. Deep sky Objects
  11. Zooming facility
  12. Indication of the Cardinal Points
  13. One great feature is Rewind, Fast-forward, Pause and Play……. Time. You can obviously predict which star will be where and when. Or just see how the moon orbits around the earth.
  14. Wherever you are in the world you can observe the sky with Stellarium. You can obviously observe How constellations form in Paris, Germany, or even in Australia or Mauritius. Have fun while learning at the same time.

Actually it is a fun way to learn the Universe in a more visual way. I recommend it to every newbie interested in knowing about our amazing universe.

One more thing, if you just want the universe for yourselves than so be it, but if you want to share, than it is good to know that Stellarium is good for presentations too. If you want the professional touch then you have Stellarium Console. Or, you can even have Stellarium on your Mobiles. The universe on your palms.

You can have a rough introductory guide here and more about functionalities here.

For more informational and detailed features on Stellarium I would  rather recommend the reviews here and here.

There are many other cool features, you just have to try it. And if you’re kind enough, then let me know too…… through your comments below.

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