Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

In the night sky: Orion
In the night sky: Orion

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.


This course was written by Monica Grady and Phillipa Smith.

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated in the acknowledgements section, this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons Licence). Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this course:


Figure 1 © NASA

Figure 3 © NASA/LMSAL

Figure 4 © ESO/D. Minniti/VVV Team

Figure 5 © X-ray: NASA/CXC/SSC/J. Keohane et al.; Infrared: Caltech/SSC/J.Rho and T. Jarrett

Figure 6 © ESO/Digitized Sky Survey and Noel Carboni

Figure 7 © Casey Reed/NASA

Figure 8 © ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Figure 9 © NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Willner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Figure 10 © NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA) Acknowledgment: J. Blakeslee (Washington State University)

Figure 11 © NASA/Caltech

Figure 12 © Matt Hendrick in Flickr

Figure 13 © NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA), the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team and L. Ricci (ESO)

Figure 14 © A.-M. Lagrange, D. Ehrenreich (LAOG), et al., ESO

Figure 16 © ESA/ATG medialab

Figure 17 © Dr. John Flannery in Flickr

Figure 18 © National Science Foundation

Figure 19 © Halley Multicolor Camera Team, Giotto Project, ESA

Figure 20 © European Space Agency – ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Figure 21 © CNES / ill. D. Ducros

Figure 22 © NASA/JPL/Wally Pacholka

Figure 23 © ESA 

Figure 24 © PHL @ UPR Arecibo (

Figure 26 © NASA/Lynette Cook

Figure 27 © NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO

Figure 28 © ESO/A.-M. Lagrange (

Figure 29 © ESO/M. Kornmesser

Figure 30 © Rogelio Bernal Andreo

Audio and video

4.2.1 Protoplanetary disc formation: © ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser) 

4.2.2 Collapse of a nebula: © Gemini Observatory/STScI

4.2.4 The Solar System: © ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen) 

Every effort has been made to contact copyright owners. If any have been inadvertently overlooked, the publishers will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements at the first opportunity.

Don't miss out:

1. Join over 200,000 students, currently studying with The Open University – choose/ ou/ open-content

2. Enjoyed this? Find out more about this topic or browse all our free course materials on OpenLearn – openlearn/

3. Outside the UK? We have students in over a hundred countries studying online qualifications – – including an MBA at our triple accredited Business School.