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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Analyzing the Universe by Rutgers the State University of New Jersey

219 ratings

About the Course

Using publicly available data from NASA of actual satellite observations of astronomical x-ray sources, we explore some of the mysteries of the cosmos, including neutron stars, black holes, quasars and supernovae. We will analyze energy spectra and time series data to understand how these incredible objects work. We utilize an imaging tool called DS9 to explore the amazing diversity of astronomical observations that have made x-ray astronomy one of the most active and exciting fields of scientific investigation in the past 50 years. Each week we will explore a different facet of x-ray astronomy. Beginning with an introduction to the nature of image formation, we then move on to examples of how our imaging program, DS9, can aid our understanding of real satellite data. You will using the actual data that scientists use when doing their work. Nothing is "canned". You will be able to appreciate the excitement that astronomers felt when they made their important discoveries concerning periodic binary x-ray sources, supernovae and their remnants, and extragalactic sources that have shaped our understanding of cosmology....

Top reviews


Sep 24, 2020

This course helped me to remind some topics and taught lots of new things in the broad areas of astronomy. I feel I took a good step for my future astronomy career thanks to Dr. Matilsky so thank you.


Jul 11, 2017

Excellent professor ,made a dummy like me understand...Also I had no problem understanding him, even though English is not my native language... Very interesting subject, well explained. Recommended

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1 - 25 of 85 Reviews for Analyzing the Universe

By Sabine L

Apr 2, 2017

The lectures are rather simple and easy to follow, but it's impossible to pass the quizzes with only a basic knowledge of mathematics/physics, only for experts. With the information provided in the video lectures you won't recieve a grade, there's a lot of extra work necessary with no other help given then some wiki that only a math genius would understand without any further help.

By Ritik S

May 23, 2020

Really an amazing and super insightful course.Literally the best course on coursera with an amazing professor explaining every minute details and teaches at very basic yet complex methods

By Arnav V

Mar 27, 2021

Brilliant. Prof Matilsky is clearly very jubilant in his way of teaching. I have a lot of takeaways from this course and to mention, the material on the course wiki was great too.

By Raphaël R

Jul 8, 2021

This course has been a pleasure to follow. The lectures are great, the quirky humour is refreshing and the material is very interesting. The quizzes are on the difficult side, but nothing impossible if you know how to handle and transform equations. The access to actual data from Chandra and other sources is what makes this course amazingly captivating. A huge thank you to Dr. Terry A. Matilsky and his team. I hope you'll make other courses like this in the future. Raphaël Rockus.

By Alejandro R T

Sep 30, 2018

An amazing course. I learned a lot of tools for an astronomical analysis. The topics was very well explicated and the lectures was very helpful.

Will be awesome if there were a week/topic where explain all the ds9's tools and options, or at least a tutorial on a web page.

By Knulp R

Oct 1, 2021

This course was great in the sense that the concepts were presented. Formulars were derived. Next was the exercises for applying the concepts.

Interesting to learn what can actually be deducted by combining the knowlegde and the observations.

By Arnaud D

Aug 16, 2018

The course is really interesting ! The lecture are easy to understand, and Prof. Matilsky is fascinating. I truly liked the exercices based on real astronomical data and observation from Chandra Satellite.

By Russell T F

May 26, 2018

We learned this fantastic method for analyzing astronomical images using ds9. Dr. Matilsky is a great teacher, he made the difficult topics fun and correctly showed how to solve the problems.

By Mauro B M

Jan 17, 2019

I love the way the professor explains things, and the fact that this course is evidently tailored to the Coursera audience. Strongly recommended!

By Deleted A

Feb 1, 2017

A very good course to start with while analyzing the astrophysical data with opensource software..... a must learn by all astrophysics student.

By Katja

Oct 28, 2018

Thank You! Very good course, different with actual data to handle. Thank You Terry Matilsky for your lessons. They were excellent.

By Owen M

Feb 10, 2019

Amazing detail, amazing insight. Take your time with this course, and dig in. I may have to take if a few times if I have time.

By Georgios P

Dec 18, 2018

I took he course a few years ago. It was really interesting and I enjoyed every video I watched!

By Ajinkya G

Jun 9, 2018

Learning some tools to look at actual data was the best part of the course

By James W

Oct 23, 2018

Fantastic introduction to Astronomy and X-ray observing and analysis.


Nov 17, 2018

Excellent presentation of interesting material

By Arya R K

May 12, 2020

This course was indeed a very helpful one for me. This course helped me grow in the field of astronomy by providing some crucial information that I had never learned before. My understanding level of space and universe enhanced after doing this course and the professor of this course very experienced and well versed with the syllabus. I would really want to thank him for all his dedication and the knowledge he gave me throughout this course.

By Anish K

Mar 28, 2020

Amazing and Amusing Professor. Great for someone getting into astronomy or to freshen up your memory. Vast amount of topics are covered over 6 weeks. The main study material are not the videos but the wikis at the end of the weeks. Assignments are amazing and challenging as they cover both the numerical and theoretical aspect. I always found myself spiralling down in web pages at spending 4-5 hours in them but I learnt A LOT.

By Themistocles S

Jul 30, 2017

This is a great course for anyone who is interested in X-ray astronomy: pulsars, black holes, white dwarfs, quasars, neutron stars, etc. The professor Dr. T.Matilsky is exceptional together with his team at Rutgers University. A close encounter with a very interesting and important region in knowledge. This is not an easy promenade but this is rewarding. Hands on encounter with grave science.

By Divya P H

May 18, 2020

I wanted explore the world of x-ray astronomy from a very long time and this course really did help me. The quiz were a little tricky but had all the fun solving the questions! The Discussion forums were of great help and it was fun to use Ds9. There is so much more to learn but this course was a stepping stone for me. Thank you for the materials and teaching was excellent.

By Rajesh P M

Apr 17, 2020

This course gave me an excellent introduction to many astronomic phenomenons and observational techniques. I particularly loved the hands on approach with DS9 software and how it is used for studies. Thanks Dr. Matilsky for a wonderful learning experience.

By Manolis M

Jul 11, 2017

Excellent professor ,made a dummy like me understand...Also I had no problem understanding him, even though English is not my native language... Very interesting subject, well explained. Recommended

By Carlos C

Feb 22, 2020

It is very interesting because it gives the opportunity of working with real data and with software that may be used by the astronomers.

By John D

Nov 4, 2019

Challenging, fascinating, stimulating - hard work but well worth it. Prof Matilsky is inspiring

By Наталия Т

Feb 18, 2018

My first and best course for now! I am very happy to touch this topic, thank you very much!