Osher Courses

Classes taught at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Utah

Cosmic Vistas

Cosmic Vistas

Students will tour the greatest discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope stopping whimsically to view spectacular space vistas.

Each session will feature actual Hubble images that highlight the telescope's contributions to fundamental advances in modern astrophysics:  the secrets of galaxies, cosmic dark matter, monster black holes, mysterious dark energy, exoplanets around distant stars, and the age of our universe.  A brief introduction to the James Webb Space Telescope will be included.

Students will be solicited for suggestions for Hubble images for class discussion.  No special background is necessary.   All discussions will be in plain English; no mathematics will be deployed.  Technical terms will be clearly defined.

"The truth is out there."







Probing Our Planets

Probing Our Planets

Students will tour our Solar System viewing picturesque planetary panoramas.

Sessions will focus on the outer gas giants an the frost giants, the inner rocky terrestrials, asteroids, Trans-Neptunian Objects and comets.  Each session will include historical myth and antiquated notions, as appropriate, as well as the latest discoveries and theories of solar system formation.  The recurring theme is the new evidence brought to light by space probes and robotic missions.

Travel with Mercury's Messenger, Venus' Express, Mars' Rovers, Jupiter's Galileo, Saturn's Cassini, the outer planets' Voyager, and Pluto's New Horizons throughout our Solar System an beyond.

No special background is necessary.  All discussions will be in plain English; no mathematics will be deployed. 

"Peace will guide the planets."






Solar splendors

Solar splendors

Session Index

   Click to download Adobe PDF file.

Students will investigate our nearest star from its deep core to the solar wind, surveying spectacular solar scenery. 

Sessions will focus on the active and quiet Sun, sunspots, solar variability, prominences, coronal mass ejections, granules & spicules, invisible radiation and magnetic fields, helioseismology and the solar interior and composition. The Sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space (or "space weather") will be examined. Each session will feature dazzling images from specialized Earth-based solar telescopes as well as robotic space-based solar instruments. 

No special background is necessary.  All discussions will be in plain English; no mathematics will be deployed. 

"Here comes the sun, and I say / It's all right."






Words! Mere Words! Was there anything so real as words? - Dorian Gray