Moons
Moons

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Moons

Week 1: What are moons?

Introduction

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to further improve the online learning experience. If you’d like to help, and if you haven't done so already, please fill in this optional survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Jessica Barnes is your guide through the course. She is a postgraduate student at The Open University with a specialist interest in water inside the Earth’s Moon. Jess pops up at the start of each week to tip you off about highlights and challenges, to remind you what you’ve learned and to help you make the most of these eight weeks of scientific discovery.

Download this video clip.
Skip transcript

Transcript

JESSICA BARNES
Hello and welcome to the course. I'm Jess, I'm a post graduate research student here at The Open University. I'll be your guide throughout this eight-week learning journey. I'll be catching up with you each week to let you know what's coming up. We've got a great team who've put together the course.
The Open University is renowned for its research in planetary and space sciences. In the labs here on campus, we have quite a collection of tiny samples of Moon rock, and we've built a virtual microscope so that you can study them for yourself.
You'll look at what moons are made of, how we think they're formed and what goes on there. You'll find out what moons can teach us about the possibility for extra-terrestrial life, and you'll learn about plans for future exploration. We have a group of experts who'll respond to and moderate discussions. Please join in and share ideas - you can also post comments on anything in the course along the way.
At the end of each week you'll have the opportunity to gauge how much you've learned in a test. Your score from these weekly tests will be added to the results of the longer test you'll take in the final week. By the end of the course not only will you have picked up some fantastic knowledge, but you'll also have developed skills that will be really useful for further studies in science.
So here we go - Week 1. We begin with an introduction to the moons of the Solar System and getting some facts straight with a myth-busting animation. You'll learn about orbits - mainly about how our own Moon's orbit around the Earth is responsible for its phases, and how the interaction between a moon's rotation and its orbit can lead to something called tidal heating. We'll also explore some theories that try to explain the origin of the Moon. By the end of Week 6 you'll be in a better position to judge between them. Enjoy the journey. I'll be back to catch up with you next week.
End transcript
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Moons alumni forum

We have set up a forum especially for learners who have completed this course, and want to maintain their connection with moons. You can reach that here – feel free to drop in to swap experiences with, or seek advice from, your predecessors.

MOONS_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus