Our Night Sky

Watch Our Night Sky

  • 2010
  • 1 Season

Our Night Sky is a series of lectures on astronomy for people who would like to know more about what they see when star-gazing. The lessons will give a comprehensive overview, then more specifically focus on topics such as asteroids, solar systems, different types of stars, galaxies and tools such as telescopes, binoculars, and other hardware. The course is geared for beginners and also veteran astronomy buffs who may find new information. The science, technology and culture of the subject is covered. The lecturer is astronomer Edward M. Murphy of the University of Virginia.

Our Night Sky
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Seasons
The Southern Sky and the Milky Way
12. The Southern Sky and the Milky Way
June 18, 2010
In this final lecture, travel to the Southern Hemisphere for sky views inaccessible from northern latitudes. Discover the famous Southern Cross, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and a spectacular panorama of the Milky Way: along with new myths and stories that add a human dimension to our marvelous night sky.
The Summer Sky
11. The Summer Sky
June 18, 2010
Arching high overhead in the summer sky is the Milky Way, which is the plane of our galaxy seen from the inside. Tour this densely packed region of stars of all types, from dusty regions of star birth to the exquisite shells of dying stars. Here, a useful orienting feature is the Summer Triangle.
The Spring Sky
10. The Spring Sky
June 18, 2010
The spring sky opens the view into intergalactic space perpendicular to the plane of the Milky Way. Among the objects visible are the immensely rich galaxy clusters in Virgo and Coma Berenices, which are many millions of light-years distant and can be seen with small and moderate telescopes.
The Winter Sky
9. The Winter Sky
June 18, 2010
Continuing your focus on the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, survey the magnificent winter sky, dominated by Orion. Star hop around the region, which includes a wealth of interesting stars, globular clusters, nebulae, and other features, especially the Orion Nebula: the finest nebula in the northern sky: and the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters in Taurus.
The Fall Sky
8. The Fall Sky
June 18, 2010
Navigate your way around the autumn sky from the Northern Hemisphere, discovering how the classical myth of Andromeda ties together the stories of the nearby constellations of Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cepheus, Pegasus, and Cetus. The sights include the Andromeda galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to our own.
The Northern Sky and the North Celestial Pole
7. The Northern Sky and the North Celestial Pole
June 18, 2010
Embarking on the second half of the course in which you systematically tour the entire sky, study two constellations that are continuously in view from the Northern Hemisphere: Ursa Major and Cassiopeia. Also explore the slowly shifting position of true north in the sky.
Meteor Showers, Comets, Eclipses, and More
6. Meteor Showers, Comets, Eclipses, and More
June 18, 2010
Explore a variety of special phenomena that are among the wonders of the sky. Some, like bright meteors, aurora, and many comets, are largely unpredictable. Others, like eclipses and annual meteor showers, occur at well-known times: although it may require a special trip to see them.
Observing the Planets with a Telescope
5. Observing the Planets with a Telescope
June 18, 2010
The rings of Saturn, the bands of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, the polar caps of Mars: these and other planetary features are visible through a small telescope. Learn when viewing opportunities arise for each of the planets and what sights await the dedicated observer.
Observing the Moon and the Sun
4. Observing the Moon and the Sun
June 18, 2010
Charting the motions and changes of the sun and moon may be humankind's oldest astronomical activity. Discover how both objects offer rich opportunities for study. Also learn the precautions to take when observing the sun, which is the only star that can be seen up close and in detail.
Using Binoculars and Backyard Telescopes
3. Using Binoculars and Backyard Telescopes
June 18, 2010
There are many choices when selecting binoculars or a telescope. Learn what to look for in light-gathering power, optical design, magnification, mounts, and other features. Professor Murphy also suggests several tips for getting the best observing experience out of your equipment.
Seeing and Navigating the Sky
2. Seeing and Navigating the Sky
June 18, 2010
The naked eye is a powerful instrument: if you know how to use it. Learn the best times and conditions for observing, how to identify the positions and magnitudes of stars and planets, how the sky changes over the course of a night, how to use astronomical maps such as a planisphere, and more.
The Constellations and Their Stars
1. The Constellations and Their Stars
June 18, 2010
Begin your study of the night sky by investigating the origin of the constellations: the traditional groupings of stars that mostly date to antiquity. The well-known constellation Orion illustrates the fascinating mix of beauty, mythology, and scientific knowledge to be found wherever you look in the heavens.
Description

Our Night Sky is a series of lectures on astronomy for people who would like to know more about what they see when star-gazing. The lessons will give a comprehensive overview, then more specifically focus on topics such as asteroids, solar systems, different types of stars, galaxies and tools such as telescopes, binoculars, and other hardware.

The course is geared for beginners and also veteran astronomy buffs who may find new information. The science, technology and culture of the subject is covered.

The lecturer is astronomer Edward M. Murphy of the University of Virginia. Our Night Sky is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on June 18, 2010.

Where to Watch Our Night Sky

Our Night Sky is available for streaming on the The Great Courses website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Our Night Sky on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Kanopy and Hoopla.

  • Premiere Date
    June 18, 2010