If there was an award for the most grandiose title in online education, this course might be a contender. edX and the Australia National University are offering “The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe”, coming soon.
I’ve had a fascination with space from a very early age. Even in my teenage years, when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say Astronaut. Then the online computer age exploded, and it was pretty clear my future was related to the Internet.
From the course intro, this is what the course aims to cover:
Despite spectacular recent progress, there is still a lot we don’t know about our universe. We don’t know why the Big Bang happened. We don’t know what most of the universe is made of. We don’t know whether there is life in space. We don’t know how planets form, how black holes get so big, or where the first stars have gone. This course will take you through nine of the greatest unsolved problems of modern astrophysics. We can’t promise you the answers, but we will explain what we do and don’t know, and give you an up-to-date understanding of current research.
I’ve signed up for it, and so you’ll see a review of it here once the course is over. It’s 10 weeks in length, and they expect it to require 3 hours per week of time to do.
The course is FREE and available on the edX platform.
Update August 2014: It looks like the course is now available any time (“self-paced”). And they’ve added the word “Unsolved” to the title.