RE-RELEASE - Knowing the Universe: History and Philosophy of Astronomy

Chris Impey
Available for a Limited Time
Watch the video to learn more about this course

RE-RELEASE - Knowing the Universe: History and Philosophy of Astronomy

Available for a Limited Time

Course Format: 

Recorded Course (Re-Release)





This course will cover the history of the oldest field of science, from prehistory and the ancient Greeks to research on the earliest instants of our 14-billion-year-old universe. We will be looking at the history of ideas and discoveries and the more profound questions of how knowledge is created. This class addresses fundamental issues of time, space, and our place in the universe.

Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award
— 2022 Award-Winning Course —

The teaching excellence displayed in this course earned this professor the highest honor that the Humanities Seminars Program has to bestow: the Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award. This award is given annually by the Humanities Seminars Program. It is based entirely on student evaluations and seeks to honor the pedagogical skill, depth of expertise, and commitment to students demonstrated by the most outstanding faculty who teach for the Humanities Seminars Program. 

We are delighted to re-release this award-winning course 
during the Summer 2024 season. 

  • This course is offered as a recording. No live class sessions or meetings are scheduled with the professor or fellow students. 
  • Access - enrolled students have complete access to course materials via the HSP Learning Portal online from the day of their registration until August 31, 2024. On September 1, 2024, the class video recordings will be removed; however, students will retain access to all other course materials online.   
  • Price - has been reduced from our regular course tuition rates. Enrollment provides access to all course materials, including the original syllabus, reading materials, and video recordings of all class sessions for a limited time.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, March 4, 2024, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • No textbook is required. All materials will be distributed to students electronically. 
  • Rather than readings, a set of YouTube videos are recommended for enrichment.

Recommended Reading: 

  • Ferris, Timothy. Coming of Age in the Milky Way. New York, NY: Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.

Meet Your Professor

University Distinguished Professor
Department of Astronomy

Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. He has over 220 refereed publications, and his research has been supported by $20 million from NASA and NSF. He has won eleven teaching awards and teaches online classes (or MOOCs) with over 350,000 enrolled. He has written over 90 popular articles, two introductory textbooks, a novel called Shadow World, and nine popular science trade books.

  • Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award


This course will be offered ONLINE ONLY
Classes will be live streamed during the time and dates specified in the course details section above. Instructions about how to access the course online will be sent to all enrolled students before the course begins.

Open Courses You May Also Be Interested In: