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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Astro 101: Black Holes by University of Alberta

966 ratings

About the Course

What is a black hole? Do they really exist? How do they form? How are they related to stars? What would happen if you fell into one? How do you see a black hole if they emit no light? What’s the difference between a black hole and a really dark star? Could a particle accelerator create a black hole? Can a black hole also be a worm hole or a time machine? In Astro 101: Black Holes, you will explore the concepts behind black holes. Using the theme of black holes, you will learn the basic ideas of astronomy, relativity, and quantum physics. After completing this course, you will be able to: • Describe the essential properties of black holes. • Explain recent black hole research using plain language and appropriate analogies. • Compare black holes in popular culture to modern physics to distinguish science fact from science fiction. • Describe the application of fundamental physical concepts including gravity, special and general relativity, and quantum mechanics to reported scientific observations. • Recognize different types of stars and distinguish which stars can potentially become black holes. • Differentiate types of black holes and classify each type as observed or theoretical. • Characterize formation theories associated with each type of black hole. • Identify different ways of detecting black holes, and appropriate technologies associated with each detection method. • Summarize the puzzles facing black hole researchers in modern science....

Top reviews


Jul 30, 2020

i love this course, everything from knowledge to the visual and scientific data, this course amazed me.

i thanking to all the person in this course to sharing this knowledge in such an amazing way


Jul 26, 2020

It is an Excellent course , with no math assignments, if you want to learn Black holes Definitely, this is the course for you , i am looking for another course from same team. Excellent Team Effort.

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1 - 25 of 332 Reviews for Astro 101: Black Holes

By Remus-Andrei P

Dec 10, 2018

Suitable for people aged 18 to 24 who want to learn about black holes (at an introductory level).

Suitable for first year University students who took courses in Mathematics, Physics or Astronomy.

Suitable for amateur astronomers who want to gain knowledge about black holes and the life cycles of stars.

The lectures are enthusiastic and the course format is easy to follow.

By Shea M

Nov 11, 2019

Great course and pitched at a good intermediate level. I did this course in combination with the "Astronomy: Exploring Space and Time" course and they complimented each other very well. The animations kept it interesting and I feel like I have a good grasp on this subject now. The tutors were enjoyable to watch and people were helpful in the forums.

An improvement this course could make is the addition of writing assignments to help cement the knowledge learned. Thank you!

By Kieran S

Aug 15, 2020

Incredibly interesting course provided by excellent and enthusiastic lecturers. The course itself was challenging at times but the information was easy to take in and retain with amazing support from the staff.

the course was easy to pick up from the start with in depth lessons and reference material ranging from the basics of astrophysics to the more complex side.

By Meha D

Jul 7, 2020

Takes time to finish, yet totally interesting, and surely worth it. If you're a space enthusiast, this will surely leave you craving for more knowledge. Not boring at all. Kudos to the instructors.

By Abhi J

Sep 29, 2020

An excellent point for amateur astronomers to gain insight into the underlying astrophysics without going too much into the technicalities and wonderful references to keep you glued to the course.

By Cathy Y

Jun 6, 2020

VERY well done course. I have taken many Astro MOOC'S than have dealt in some way with black holes, so some of the information was for me a review. This class had lots of new material to offer even for those of us familiar with the basics of black holes.

Not overly mathematical, though there was sufficient use of formulas so as to accurately explain the material in a concise way. Would have liked to see more math as part of the weekly assessments.

Very much enjoyed the mix of presenters. Each had a unique style and was clear in presenting their sections of the course. THANKS to University of Alberta for putting on this excellent course. Well worth the time and effort to study and complete.

By Anushka M

Oct 3, 2020

I would personally recommend this course to anyone who has a lot of interest in Black Holes and Stellar Astronomy. These fields intrigue me and I didn't know where and how to start from. This course provided me with an excellent start, beginning from the very scratch and then reaching some higher levels. I shall always keep with me, the drive and directed motivation that this course brought to me. Moreover, all the instructors are extremely good at explaining difficult concepts in a simplified, easy- to- digest way. Thank you for your efforts towards building this course. I look forward to have more astronomy courses from University of Alberta.

By Charles R B

Nov 12, 2018

Almost perfect. 1 lecturer absolutely natural delivery, main lecturer ok, 2 lecturers need more rehearsal, but not everyone is smooth in front of a camera. Course could stand to have a little better constructed quiz questions, add more than just multiple guess, and could stand to have an exam at the end. Course has the right amount of maths, as "Physics" is not in it's title. Concepts are well presented and illustrated. Nicely done! P.S. JJDrek is NOT Star Trek.

By Antonia T B

Oct 10, 2018

One of the best courses on Coursera about Astronomy. Super exciting! Great lectures, amazing science about the mysterious and fascinating black holes and not too impossible quizzes (unlike other Astronomy courses here in Coursera that have impossible quizzes). A fascinating journey into the most fearful spots of the Universe. Thanks a lot. Many greetings from Spain / Antonia

By sourabh k

Jul 31, 2020

i love this course, everything from knowledge to the visual and scientific data, this course amazed me.

i thanking to all the person in this course to sharing this knowledge in such an amazing way

By Tbay M

Jun 23, 2020

Astro 101 Black Holes, was the first coursera lesson I took. I loved it.

I'm hooked and already signed up for my next course.

I purchased my certificate and will display it proudly.

By Sakthi A

May 20, 2020

Very clear explanation both visually and orally. Best course to explore BLACK HOLES.

By Hiruki S K R

Apr 3, 2022

It was a great privilege to complete a course at Alberta University. The University of Alberta offered me a scholarship to follow this course. Being a 13 years old girl, I am indebted to the University for given this opportunity for me. This course has given me a broader knowledge about black holes and other exciting knowledge about black hole opponents, candidates, mergers, etc. This course has laid the foundation for my dream to be an Astronomer. I was passionate about the content, and here in Sri Lanka, we have limited opportunities to do studies in such an exciting field. I want to continue with this stream of knowledge and kindly recommend further courses. Thank you very much, instructors

by Hiruki

By Dr. J K B

Jul 27, 2020

It is an Excellent course , with no math assignments, if you want to learn Black holes Definitely, this is the course for you , i am looking for another course from same team. Excellent Team Effort.

By Fu-Cheng C

May 31, 2020

Amazing course for astronomy enthusiasts! Lectures are well-presented with visual effects and demonstrations. After completing this course I became so much more interested in physics and astronomy.

By Yash V G

Jul 23, 2020

Its been quite an illuminating ride, could have done with more data-driven mathematics but nevertheless, a highly recommendable introductory course for further cultivating curiosities.

By Tayren N B

Aug 7, 2019

I enjoyed the course. It covered all the areas necessary to understand black holes and the physics behind these mysterious phenomena. It was enjoyable and entertaining as well.

By Muhammad E G

Apr 28, 2019

its the Best ever Course and i learned a lot things about which i have not heard before i will strongly recommend this to people who want to know about black holes.

By Ibrahim m H

Feb 12, 2020

very nicely explained and very informative.

i am currently 14 and compleated this course .

just some times it goes over my head.

By John M

Jan 21, 2021

II found the course to me very informative and well presented. The subject of black holes is very complex but the presentation styles and material used in the modules were fascinating and put forward in a manner both to instruct and to entertain and engage. There is no heavy mathematics included but the course contains enough simple formulae to give a good appreciation of the relationships between the key parameters involved in the characterisation of stars and their interactions. There is enough physics included to give an overall feel for the concepts of special and general relativity and how it is desirable to link this with the uncertainties of the quantum world. The presenters were clear, engaging and obviously tremendous enthusiasts for their preferred field of study. This comes across well and they encourage the reader to share their enthusiasm. The course stressed how much work is underway and is planned for future studies using the newer technologies provided by space telescopes. The short videos at the end of each section which summarise that section are useful as are the short 1-2 minute videos from other astronomers in the relevant fields. I would certainly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating subject of black holes, one of the most intriguing topics in modern astronomy.


Oct 27, 2018

At the outset I sincerely thank Dr Sharon Morsink, Dr Jeanette Gladstone, Curtis Brown, Dr Ross Lockwood and Mr Stephen Lane for their excellent lectures and videos. All of you have guided me wonderfully to understand and pass the course on Black Holes. I am a retired Senior Manager in a Bank and am presently staying in the city of Visakhapatnam, India. Though my line of job is different, I have been very curious and highly interested to learn about the space, stars and Astronomy which is a very vast subject.

All your lectures are highly useful. I am planning to go through all the 10 modules of the course again and again to be thorough and not to have any doubt. I wonder if I can have access to the material even after receiving the Certificate. Due to some technical problem in my Laptap, I could not download any of your video lessons but I could only copy the printed lessons. Hence I am requesting to have access to any of your video lessons of this course.

I will be thankful if you can inform whether the Certificate will be sent by Airmail or to my email and if so how much time it may take.

I thank all my teachers and experts once again.

With regards,


By sarfraz k

Jun 8, 2020

Hello everybody! A big thank you to all 4 wonderful lecturers who taught me so much about black holes. I've learnt a colossal amount ! I really liked the lecture materials and illustrations. Difficult concepts were explained very well- clearly and concisely and in entertaining ways. I'm pleased to say that I answered all the questions correctly on my 1st attempt and got a whopping 100%! Did not make a single mistake when submitting my answers. Perhaps there should be a few more numerical questions? Maybe write a bit more about the physics of neutron stars?

The downside is that some of the videos were not very audible even on maximum volume. There is a 20 minute lecture-I think week 10- which was hardly audible on my laptop. Over all I think this course is exciting and pretty difficult. If I lived in Canada, I sure would like to study at the University of Alberta.

Regards, Sarfraz

By Pauline C

Mar 21, 2021

This course made it possible to understand the advanced science about black holes without performing mathematical calculations. This was incredible for me. I have a background in chemistry, physics and astronomy, but no desire to do the advanced mathematics. I also liked the way science fiction such as Interstellar were explained and compared to actual facts. I was thrilled to understand the production of the strange picture of Gargantua in Interstellar. I also liked the fact that cutting edge astronomy was portrayed. one of the teachers said that she hoped that intermediate black holes would be observed soon. I checked the internet and it came true about 2 years after she predicted it. It was a difficult course, but I determined to finish it as I have always had a love for astronomy from my earliest years. Thank you.

By Yashpal K

Sep 30, 2020

This is an outstanding course. Now after knowing more about our stars and galaxy and black holes, when I look up in the night sky, I think about the process that might be going on in the star's core whose light might be reaching my eyes after A thousand years or might be million years or that star might be in a binary system with other star or lurking around a Stellar Mass Black hole.

With this course I explore more about the power of the universe and how massive or lighter A star or Black Hole could be.

Instructions given by the professors in this course is really amazing, They have explained this course in easiest way possible, which helped me understand the basic of Black Holes, Stars and much more.

Highly recommend this course for Astronomy Lovers.

Thank you

By Steven A

Mar 13, 2023

Thank you so much this was ‘so fun’ as my adult children used to say in their childhood. You are all such creative and engaging teachers besides of course being some of our very best and brightest minds. The only Black Hole is the one where we stop trying to learn.


Unconscious density of mind

Limitations transcended.

Of my former unknowing

Crossed the event horizon.

Stretched its particles.

Like a strand of spaghetti

Beyond physical limitations

Tidal wave of energy

Dragging my former

Framework of ignorance

Energizing my thoughts

Inflating the senses.

Warping and inspiring

New thought processes

About space and time

Allowing the light

To illuminate and accumulate

Information trapped within

Yet paradox overcome.

I radiate like Hawking.

Although dimmer by sum.