An introduction to exoplanets
An introduction to exoplanets

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.

Free course

An introduction to exoplanets

5  Summary of Week 1

This week you have learned about what makes a planet a planet. You’ve covered the planets in our Solar System and have learned about how planetary systems and galaxies are structured. You should be able to confidently use the words star, planet, planetary system and galaxy, and be able to describe the relationships between them. Learning about how our Solar System works provides a great starting point for exploring planets around other stars, which you will be doing over the weeks to come.

You should now be able to:

  • recognise the International Astronomical Union (IAU) definition of a planet
  • understand the difference between planets and dwarf planets
  • describe the other objects in our Solar System
  • define the term ‘exoplanet’
  • describe each of the following building blocks of the Universe: stars, planets, planetary systems and galaxies
  • identify some objects and constellations in the night sky.

Next week you will be looking at the properties of individual planets in the Solar System in more detail.

You can now go to Week 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

EXO_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 50 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, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 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 prospectus371