The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery

Modern astronomy has made some astonishing discoveries – how stars burn and how black holes form; galaxies from the edge of the universe and killer rocks right next door; where the elements come from and how the expanding universe is accelerating. But how do we know all that? The truth is that astronomy would be impossible without technology, and every advance in astronomy is really an advance in technology. But the technology by itself is not enough. We have to apply it critically with a knowledge of physics to unlock the secrets of the Universe.

Each of these videos covers a different aspect of Astronomical technology, matching each piece of technology to a highlight science result. The videos explain how the technology works, how it has allowed us to collect astronomical data, how we interpret the data to make scientific discoveries, and what the future may hold.

These media resources form part of an on-demand Coursera MOOC developed by by Professor Andy Lawrence and Dr Catherine Heymans of the School of Physics and Astronomy.  You can sign up for this free course here: AstroTech – Our knowledge of the Universe and download the media resources from Media Hopper Create.

[Featured image: First 7-metre ALMA antenna arrives at Chajnantor, CC BY, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), W. Garnier (ALMA)]