OpenStax Astronomy

Access, develop and share resources created by the OpenStax community that align with OpenStax Astronomy.
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All resources in OpenStax Astronomy

Science Fiction Stories Based on Good Astronomy

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This is a guide to science fiction stories and novels which are based on reasonably good science (and can thus be recommended in introductory astronomy courses.) The stories are organized by astronomical topic. While most of the stories are available only in print, a number are now published electronically free of charge, and links to those are included.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Case Study

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

Guide for Debunking Pseudo-Science Connected with Astronomy

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In this guide, you will find books, articles, and websites that help teachers of astronomy address some of the weird topics on the fringes of science that students sometimes hear about and want to have clarification for. Included are astrology, UFOs as alien spaceships, crop circles, denial of evolution and the big bang, the “face” on Mars, claims that NASA never landed astronauts on the Moon, and others.

Material Type: Student Guide

Author: Andrew Fraknoi

The Planisphere

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This OER explores the basic operations of a Planisphere. It contains both an activity as well as resources for further exploration. It is a product of the OU Academy of the Lynx, developed in conjunction with the Galileo's World Exhibition at the University of Oklahoma.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Brent Purkaple, Kerry Magruder

Current Event in Astronomy

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In an effort to raise awareness of astronomical developments, I have students search newspapers or online for any recent astronomical-related story and provide a photo and a short summary of the article including why they think it is important and I ask them to identify specially which chapter of the textbook deals with their story. I do this early in the semester as a way of getting students to become more familiar with the textbook and to try to get them to become lifelong learners and be in the habit of looking for current events related to astronomy.

Material Type: Homework/Assignment, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Erik Christensen

OpenStax Astronomy Slide Presentations in pdf form

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The slideshows that go with OpenStax Astronomy are PowerPoint, which is great for editing and improving, but a bit awkward for instructors who need to load MS PowerPoint in order to present. I used the cc-by license to place them on Wikiversity. I also invite others to collaborate on developing OpenStax materials on Wikiversity and/or Miraheze.

Material Type: Lecture, Lecture Notes, Student Guide

Author: The authors of OpenStax Astronomy

OpenStax Video Lecture List

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This is a list of video lectures that I have created for an online class that I teach. These are lectures from chapters 1-16, 21 and 30 which are what I am using for my Introduction to Planetary Astronomy class. The lectures generally run between 10 and 20 minutes and I have created 2-4 per chapter. The links are all to videos loaded to YouTube and are all captioned (edited by me, not YouTube auto captioning). Images were obtained from Wikimedia Commons and were limited to those in the public domain or under a CC license and are credited in the footer of each slide. Feel free to use any that you find useful or provide the list to students who may want to review the materials. For anyone interested, I can provide access to the lecture slides as well so that they could be modified to fit your specific requirements. You can contact me directly at: My intention is to work on the remaining chapters over the next year so that I can use the OpenStax text for my Stellar Astronomy class as well.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Robert Wagner

Introduction To Astronomy (ASTR 101)

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This course provides an introduction to the universe beyond the Earth. We begin with a study of the night sky and the history of the science of astronomy. We then explore the various objects seen in the cosmos including the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the evolution of the universe itself. As an online course, it is equivalent to 6 lecture hours, and satisfies science requirements for the AA and AS degree. It is designed to be thorough enough to prepare you for more advanced work, while presenting the concepts to non-majors in a way that is meaningful and not overwhelming. We will consider the course a success if you have learned how to think about the universe critically in an organized, logical way, and to have enhanced your appreciation of the sky around us.

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Reading, Syllabus

Earth Science

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Earth science is the study of our home planet and all of its components: its lands, waters, atmosphere, and interior. In this book, some chapters are devoted to the processes that shape the lands and impact people. Other chapters depict the processes of the atmosphere and its relationship to the planet’s surface and all our living creatures. For as long as people have been on the planet, humans have had to live within Earth’s boundaries. Now human life is having a profound effect on the planet. Several chapters are devoted to the effect people have on the planet. Chapters at the end of the book will explore the universe beyond Earth: planets and their satellites, stars, galaxies, and beyond.

Material Type: Full Course, Textbook

Star Concept Connection Cards

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These concept connection cards can be used in small groups or for self study. They help students build an understanding of three core topics in astronomy -- the HR diagram, light, and fusion. The file includes instructions for usage, as well as cards in multiple formats. They were created by Kaisa Young from Nicholls State University.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: OpenStax, Rice University