Tombstone Sky
Dark-Site Observatory

Tombstone Observatory Astronomy About This Site


Learning Astronomy
DVD Lectures

Armchair astronomers deal with the academic aspects of the night sky and are less concerned with seeing things up there than with understanding what these things are, what they're made of, and where they came from. Armchair astronomers hawk the educational TV channels looking for programs on astronomy (the things that are out there) and cosmology (everything that ever was, or is, or ever will be). These TV programs, when you can find them, are entertaining, but they are tuned to the general public and don't go into an awful lot of detail. There are magazines and books that do, but what the armchair astronomer would find most useful is an organized and detailed approach to the entire subject of astronomy, and put on the TV set.

If this is what you want, you've come to the right place (or, one click away). Educational DVD is the stock and trade of The Teaching Company (TTC). The scope of their courses is very extensive, but in their Science section, they have a number of courses that relate to astronomy. Having these courses is like having your own in-home science channel, and watching them can be a family activity.

All lectures in all courses are 30min long. No homework. No math required (although a working knowledge of high-school algebra is a plus). All courses from TTC go on sale at least once a year, to make your choices more affordable and cost-effective.

I personally own all of the courses listed below and all of them are, in my opinion, excellent. There is no real significance to the order, in that no course is a prerequisite for any other. The order I've listed them reflects my assessment of the "depth" of the information.

The links will provide a description of these courses. Most of them will take you directly to TTC. The links in red will take you to my own web page for the course, and from there links to the TTC page.

Astronomy and Cosmos DVD Courses

  1. My Favorite Universe, Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson

  2. Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, Prof. Alex Filippenko

  3. Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution, Prof. Richard Wolfson

  4. Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe, Prof. Sean Carroll

  5. Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe, Prof. Mark Whittle

  6. Particle Physics for Non-Scientists: A Tour of the Microcosmos, Prof. Steven Pollack

  7. Quantum Mechanics: The Physics of the Microscopic World, Prof. Benjamin Schumacher

  8. Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality, Prof. S. James Gates Jr.





















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