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Learner Reviews & Feedback for AstroTech: The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery by The University of Edinburgh

1,043 ratings

About the Course

"How do they know that?" Modern astronomy has made some astonishing discoveries - how stars burn and how black holes form; galaxies from the edge of the universe and killer rocks right next door; where the elements come from and how the expanding universe is accelerating. But how do we know all that? The truth is that astronomy would be impossible without technology, and every advance in astronomy is really an advance in technology. But the technology by itself is not enough. We have to apply it critically with a knowledge of physics to unlock the secrets of the Universe. Each week we will cover a different aspect of Astronomical technology, matching each piece of technology to a highlight science result. We will explain how the technology works, how it has allowed us to collect astronomical data, and, with some basic physics, how we interpret the data to make scientific discoveries. The class will consist of video lectures, weekly quizzes, and discussion forums. Each week there will be five videos, totalling approximately 40 minutes. They will be in a regular pattern - a short introduction, an example science story, an explanation of the key technology area, a look at how the technology is used in practice, and finally a look at what the future may hold....

Top reviews


Jun 7, 2020

After completing the course, I was able to understand better some concepts in astronomy such as dark matter and dark energy as well as the technologies that helped uncover more truths in our universe.


Sep 22, 2020

The course was amazing especially when the instructor was explaining by using experiment instruments above all the way the instructors has taught me has completely made me understand the concepts.

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1 - 25 of 292 Reviews for AstroTech: The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery


Jun 8, 2020

After completing the course, I was able to understand better some concepts in astronomy such as dark matter and dark energy as well as the technologies that helped uncover more truths in our universe.

By venkateswaran p

Jul 23, 2020

looking forward to an advanced course from the team.The course has motivated me to go deeper in to the science and technology of astronomy.The modules are designed and delivered superably

By Ashwini V S

Jul 10, 2017

Excellent Course!! Amazing Teachers!! You can learn a lot of fundamentals if you are new to the field.Highly recommended for people for starting who just getting into astronomy.

By Bruno A

May 4, 2020

I m Bruno from argentina, i m 15. This course was very interesting, although i don t understand some of the equations that Catherine explained because I didn t learn equations with such complexity at school yet, but I was able to understand the concept that interested me.

Very good.

By Mariya C

May 27, 2020

The course was really boring and unengaging

By Biswajit J

Sep 23, 2020

The course was amazing especially when the instructor was explaining by using experiment instruments above all the way the instructors has taught me has completely made me understand the concepts.

By Gurmanjot S

Sep 25, 2020

Really well planned and thought out course. Though, I have one suggestion, can you please make a separate video on live demonstration of a telescope, just like you did in case of spectroscopy.

By Jonathan C

Sep 14, 2020

Thank you for the course. Thoroughly enjoyable and interesting. I realise the course only scratches the surface of the various core topics covered but it's whetted my appetite to go deeper!

By Evanshu

Apr 27, 2018

This Course is phenominal and the mix of practicals shown with the consistency of thery makes it a remarkable product of gaining basics ofAstronomical knowledge

By meta

Oct 4, 2019

Very exciting course!! It's short but sweet. This experience has me seriously thinking about doing a deep dive into the spectrographic technology.

By Deleted A

Dec 2, 2016

Provides new insights for Dark Energy and Dark Matter and also helps one understand the basic Physics as applied to Astronomy.Really nice course !

By pzt110

Aug 30, 2021

It was a very nice course. I just wish they gave more questions on the quizzes


May 23, 2018

This course presents basic science and tech used behind many of the astronomical discoveries, introducing us to methods and instruments used by astronomers. The course is very basic in nature, hence good for those who seek some astro knowledge for fun & curiosity. Presentation by instructors was also very good. Great use of real data and photographs to help in understanding and imagination. A large number of website links provided for looking up additional information. Overall,

It has been a wonderful journey to have been a part of this course as a space lover!

By Harshal H

Jun 14, 2018

This is a unique course, giving nice introduction about different technologies used by astronomers for observations. I particularly liked organizing it around revolutionary technologies. A small suggestion: Please expand this course, especially for computers and spectroscopy. For example, data analysis pipelines, machine learning, virtual observatories can be discussed for role of computers, and for spectroscopy role of filters such as Sloan filters (if I recall them correctly). Overall, great introduction.

By Shiva k

Aug 31, 2020

Thank you for the Introductory course which practically explained how the astronomical discoveries were studied and documented.

However, it would be even better to start from the actual plain output from a satellite/ telescope and the workflow involved from data interpretation, statistics, computational tools up to the presentation of such results in a scientific journal.

For an example exercise, 1) the detailed workflow on how the satellite data (numbers, intensity, voltage vs time readings?) from COBE were interpreted and presented in the final form of the famous image of CMB

2) The galaxy rotational rates(tools for measurement) and its steps leading to the hypothesis of dark matter.

By Kevin K

May 31, 2017

Interesting. Conveys the main ideas, but avoids the details (unfortunately).

By fozan t

Jan 21, 2018

Very easy and to the point course ,completed in 4 days.

By Anshika S

Aug 16, 2020

Not that good

By Carlo

Jun 21, 2018

Great course!!! Very clear, very interesting! Just the right level of detail to be interesting to both people who know no physics and people who know a little more (high school physics). The different technologies are presented by showing how they can help us explaining a specific astronomical phenomenon. The integration is not seamless (there is some overlap / some physics points are spread across several weeks) but it's close enough. I would take another course by the same instructors without any hesitation. If you are interested in astronomy as a science (and not only as a body of knowledge) don't miss this course!

By Ferris B

Jan 27, 2021

Thank you very much for this excellent course. It gave me an interesting insight of astronomers' work. The course was full of interesting examples and showcases by not neglecting the physical and astronomical basics, some formulas and mathematical exercises included!

I also enjoyed the views of Edinburgh (looking forward the next visit!) and the ROI, as well as the many photos of sites around the world.

Last but not least I appreciated the sources of reference at the end of each lecture and the contained links. It made me feel like a real student of yours in his first term.

Looking out for more!

By Hyensoo C

Apr 13, 2020

Everything was great. I really like the instructor's British accent, and the topic this course covers.

I'm majoring Computer Science, and I always desired to contribute to Astronomy. It wasn't easy as I expected(quizzes especially), but this helped me to get a rough idea of Astronomy's current research field. Completing this course will be my first step for that.

Additionally, I loved the view of The University of Edinburgh!! This course was so great and classic that I'm considering to transfer to this University.

Great thanks to both of the brilliant instructors.

By Quentin V

Oct 15, 2020

This was my first Coursera learning experience. I did the course purely out of interest as I wanted to learn more about astronomy technology (having an interest in astrophotography). This was a great course to learn more about some of the techniques professional astronomers use to undertake scientific research. I really enjoyed it and learnt from it. The presenters came across as being really passionate and knowledgeable. Overall, an excellent online learning experience.

By Vinit k

Jul 2, 2020

I have always been interested in learning about space and its hidden secrets. This course helped me to understand how astronomers study our Universe using big telescopes. It was a great experience learning how astronomers use the latest technologies to collect and analyze the data from the big telescopes. Also, I learned how we find the distance, size, mass, and other properties like the redshift using the data from different sensors of the distant Universe.

By Lisa H

Jun 13, 2017

If you are searching for a course that can give you clear explanations and explain the functions of all the technological devices that allow scientists to pursue astrophysics fundamental research, this is absolutely the right choice for you:-) I enjoyed everything, and the quizzes after each unit was challenging enough to foster reasoning and deeper the learning path started with the lessons provided. Well done!

By Priya J

Jan 6, 2017

Fantastic course for a beginner like me with no prior knowledge about Astronomy. Gives you loads of information about different elements of the universe with good details around how technology integrates with all the different elements to help us understand the overall picture better and be able to predict and past and future of our ever expanding universe. I am very glad I took this course.