Geysers on Enceladus (Cassini)
Saturn closeup (Cassini)
Andromeda galaxy (Robert Gendler)
Pluto topography (New Horizons)
Horsehead nebula (HST)
Neptune's moon Triton (Voyager 2)
Saturn's moon Hyperion (Cassini)
Sunset on Mars (Spirit rover)
Earth and Moon from Saturn (Cassini)
Victoria crater on Mars (Erik Wernquist)
Mars weather (MRO)
Sombrero galaxy (HST)
Carina Nebula in IR (HST)
Earth setting on Moon (Kaguya)
Ligeia Mare on Titan (Cassini)
Jupiter (Juno)
Jupiter and Ganymede (HST)
The Nile at night (ISS)
Vela supernova remnant (Stephen Chadwick)
Carina Nebula (HST)
Nightscape (Mark Gee)
Jupiter (Juno)
Flyby Pluto (New Horizons)
Saturn's moon Epimetheus (Cassini)
Saturn's moon Enceladus (Cassini)
Crater slope on Mars (MRO)
Titan and ring shadow (Cassini)
Titan above Saturn's rings (Cassini)
Eta Carinae (Stephen Chadwick)
Helix nebula in IR (Vista)
Occam crater on Ceres (Dawn)
Pluto mountains and plains (New Horizons)
Aurora on Saturn (Cassini)
Rhea in front of Titan (Cassini)

Our Lectures

are typically used to give presentations, although they can also be used for self study.
They run directly from our website and no software in your computer is needed apart from the webbrowser that you are already using.

Most of the Slide shows are accompanied by a narrative text file and/or handout(s) (in pdf-format) that can be downloaded and which contain background information. These attachments should be studied beforehand by the presenter for the best results or can be used as a study resource for self study. These documents can be downloaded from the "Resources" tab (top left) in each presentation.

Open any one of the categories below and click on the icon in the column "Run" (only visible when you are logged in) to open the show in a separate tab. Make sure to scroll down to see all our presentations.

Available Lecture Series

 Individual Presentations

TitleDescriptionRun
Click on icon in column Run The Slide presentation will open in a separate tab
Introduction to Astronomy History, Solar System, Search for Life, Milky Way, Life Cycle of Stars, Deep Space.  
Kepler's Laws Describing planetary motion, history, kepler's laws, newton's gravitation, modern space travel.  
Lunar Eclipse 2018 About the "Super-Blood" Moon on 1 February 2018  
Solar Eclipse 2019 About the Solar Eclipse on 2 July 2019 as seen from the La Silla observatory in Chile, Paranal observatory and more...  

The Rhythmic Sky Series

In this series we discuss how we see celestial objects move in the sky and why this happens that way.

TitleDescriptionRun
Click on icon in column Run The Slide presentation will open in a separate tab
The Shape of the Earth Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 1 - Flat or Spherical? Science vs. Common Experience.  Aristotle and Eratosthenes. What happens at the edge of a flat Earth? Modern day flat Earth ideas. Modern science measures shape and size of Earth at mm level.  
The Shape of the Earth Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 1A - Is the Earth a sphere? Only approximation. Topography. Flattening. Shape of the Earth and Gravity. Modern measurements. Periodic and Episodic change: Ocean and Solid Earth Tides, Tectonics, Measuring Seafloor Spreading.  
The Rotating Earth Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 2 - 24 hours defined as one revolution, causing night and day. Direction of rotation. East and West. Clockwise and counter clockwise. Sun as seen from N and S hemisphere. Midday sun (noon). Modern Time system and Time zones. Motion of the stars. Celestial poles and Latitude. Circumpolar and rising and setting stars.  
The Rotating Earth Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 2A - Earth as a natural clock. Variations in LOD. Measurements and explanation. Atomic clocks and UTC, Leap seconds. Secular slowing of Earth rotation. Time zones and Daylight saving time. Polar motion. Precession and nutation.  
The Orbiting Earth Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 3 - Heliocentric model. Annual orbit around Sun. Direction and speed as compared with other planets. Sidereal and Solar day. Seasons, ecliptic and axial tilt. Declination of the Sun. Arctic circles and Tropics, Equinoxes and Solstices. Sun angles.  
The Orbiting Earth Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 3A - Why Heliocentric? Orbit and Gravity. Elliptic orbit of the Earth. Equation of time. Calendar and leap years. Celestial sphere, RA and declination. Axial tilt and Precession. Measuring Latitude and Longitude.  
The Moon Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 4 - Orbit and movement. Moon phases. Lunar cycle and Daily movement. Angular size and distance. Orbital plane of the Moon. Tidal locking. Near side and far side. Lunar topography.  
The Moon Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 4A - Synodic cycle. Lunar calendar and life on Earth. Lunar and Solar Eclipse. Elliptic orbit and libration.  
The Planets Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 5 - Wandering stars. Dance of the planets and retrograde motion. Phases and distances. Visibility, naked eye and telescope. Transits of inner planets. Use of Orrery software. Mythology of planets and other bodies.  
The Planets Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 5A -  Visible Moons of other planets. Minor planets and asteroids. Kepler Orbital motion, History and significance. Periods of the planets. Seasonal Ecliptic.  
What else moves in the sky & aspects of Stargazing Rhythmic Sky series Lecture 6 - The Milky Way in the sky. Magellanic Clouds and other objects. Constellations. Star names. Proper motion. Stars in constellations. N and S hemisphere views. Magnitude and brightness. Atmospheric effects. Star charts and Planetarium software.  

Exploring the Solar System Series

In this series we travel virtually through our Solar System, visiting planets, and many moons, minor planets, asteroids, and comets.

TitleDescriptionRun
Click on icon in column Run The Slide presentation will open in a separate tab
Life Cycle of the Solar System Solar System Series Lecture 1 - What is a Solar System? How the Sun formed. Formation Theory of the Solar System. Future of the Sun. Future of planet Earth.  
The Sun Solar System Series Lecture 2 - Mythology and early science. Lide Cycle. Mass and Rotation. Structure. Solar activity. Solar Cycle. Space missions.  
Nuclear Fusion in Stars Solar System Series Lecture 2A - Nuclear Fusion explained (basics). How we are trying on Earth.  
The Planets Solar System Series Lecture 3 - Size and Scale. Names of the planets and mythology. Orbits and Rotation. Rocky planets and their properties. Gas planets and their properties.  
Moons of the Solar System Solar System Series Lecture 4 - Overview of the many moons in the Solar System. Discussion of several of the larger moons in detail.  
Other Solar System Bodies Solar System Series Lecture 5 - Definitions and Classification. Main Asteroid Belt. Dawn mission. Trans Neptunians and Kuiper Belt. Pluto and its companions. New Horizons mission. Comets and the Oort Cloud. Rosetta mission. Meteoroids, Meteors and Meteorites. Inter Planetary Medium.  
Mythology of the Solar System Māori, Greek and Roman mythology of objects in the Solar System and some constellations. Guest lecture by Emma Warwick.  
Search for Life Solar System Series Lecture 6 - What is Life? Building blocks of Life. Environments for Life. How to define Alien Life? What have we found on Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan? Planned Space Missions. Planetary Protection.  
Mercury Solar System Series Lecture 7 - Planet Mercury. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  
Venus Solar System Series Lecture 8 - Planet Venus. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  
Mars Solar System Series Lecture 9 - Planet Mars. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  
Jupiter Solar System Series Lecture 10 - Planet Jupiter. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  
Saturn Solar System Series Lecture 11 - Planet Saturn. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  
Uranus Solar System Series Lecture 12 - Planet Uranus. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  
Neptune Solar System Series Lecture 13 - Planet Neptune. Mythology, Rotation and Orbit. Physical characteristics. Space missions with latest updates.  

Mars InDepth Series

In this series we take a close look at the planet Mars.

TitleDescriptionRun
Click on icon in column Run The Slide presentation will open in a separate tab
Mars in Space Orbit, Rotation and Seasons, How to travel to Mars; Transfer orbit, Launch window; Entry, Descent and Landing, Going Back; History of Exploration.  
Mars Closeup Atmosphere - pressure, temperature, composition; Wind and Dust; Gravity; Radiation; Topography and Areological History; History of Water; Where is the water now?  
Science on Mars (I) How it started with Viking; Climate Cycles; How could early Mars have been so much warmer?; Evolution of the Interior; Evidence of a Magnetic Field; the InSight Mission.  
Science on Mars (II) Spirit in Gusev Crater. Opportunity in Meridiani Planum: Hematite; "Blue berries"; Water history. Phoenix Lander: Seasonal Climate up North; Perchlorate. Curiosity: Gale Crater former Lake bed; Sediments; Organics; Seasonal Methane.  
Future Missions Search for Life again after more than 40 years (Viking). Design and Science Objectives NASA 2020 Rover, ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 Rover and Lander.  

Leaving the Solar System Series

In this series we leave our Solar System and travel up to about 5000 light years. We discuss major observation techniques and look at different types of stars we find and their properties. 

TitleDescriptionRun
Click on icon in column Run The Slide presentation will open in a separate tab  
Sense of Scale Continuing our scale model up to about 5000 light years. What do we find? Units of distance in Astronomy; the magnitude scale.  
Multiple systems Most stars are not alone. Binaries, Trinaries, etc. Open Clusters.  
Mass, Luminosity, Colour Most important characteristics of a star. Mass; what is luminosity?; Relation between temperature and colour. Introduction to the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR-) diagram.This prepares for the next two lectures.  
Spectroscopy What is light and what is a spectrum? Absorption and emission lines. Spectroscopy as the most important observation technique in astronomy. Spectral classification and the HR-diagram again.  
Stellar Evolution Star formation. Nuclear fusion explained. Main sequence stars. The final stage for sun-like and more massive stars. Neutron stars and Black holes. Mapping stellar evolution on the HR-diagram.  
Distance & Proper motion Parallax as the first rung of the cosmic distance ladder. How does it work and how do we separate it from proper motion of stars?  
Exoplanets How do we find exoplanets and how do they compare with the planets in our own Solar system?  
Travel to the stars A popular topic around the coffee table, but how realistic is that?.  

Exploring the Milky Way Series

In this series we travel up to about 500,000 light years and explore our home galaxy in detail.

TitleDescriptionRun
Click on icon in column Run The Slide presentation will open in a separate tab  
Sense of Scale & the Milky Way in the Sky Continuing our scale model up to about 500,000 light years. The basics of the Milky Way galaxy. How do we see it and how does it move in the sky?  
Structure of the Milky Way History of how we learned about our galaxy; measuring distances; the modern view and the galactic structure in detail.  
Multi-wavelength Astronomy Observation techniques beyond the visible light and how that changed our view of the galaxy.  
Towards the Centre The bulge, long bar and the very dynamic centre of our galaxy. Latest observations.  
Black Holes History of our developing knowledge about Black Holes in general, what we know about our own Supermassive Black Hole and a bit of General Relativity. We also review the recent imaging of the Supermassive Black Hole in galaxy M87 by the Event Horizon Telescope consortium.  
Dynamics of the Milky Way & Dark Matter How do we move in space; density waves in spiral arms; galaxy rotation and mass; rotation curve mystery and dark matter; orbits and mergers with satellite galaxies.  

Already Available

Introduction to Astronomy
Kepler's Laws
The Lunar Eclipse of 1 February 2018

Rhythmic Sky Series (complete), Lectures 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4, 4A, 5, 5A, 6.
The Solar System Series (complete), Lectures 1, 2, 2A, 3, 4, 5, 6. Individual planets lectures 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13..
Mars InDepth Series, (complete) Lectures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Series Leaving the Solar system (complete), Lectures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Series Exploring the Milky Way (complete), Lectures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Soon to come

New Series Going Deep

and more later.

Go to top