What do we know about the universe?

The course aims to provide basic knowledge on ancient and modern ideas about the present and future structure of the universe, to gain familiarity with astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. A historical perspective is followed, from the early views of cosmos to modern ideas and theories about the universe, highlighting the succession of discoveries as rational thinking and the development of sciences related to astronomy improved. The chosen didactic approach employs a language that everyone can understand, without the use of specific mathematical tools. The course, with its interdisciplinary value, can be used as a preparation tool for various degree courses, both scientific and pedagogical-didactic, as well as training and updating teachers at all levels.

Attendance and Credentials

Attendance Certificate



Training hours




Course Mode

Self Paced




5 weeks



Course Status

Self Pacement

Enrollments Start

Apr 20, 2018

Course Opens

May 9, 2018

Course Closes

Not Set
to be able to outline developments in the astronomical knowledge of the past, present and future - to describe and interpret astronomical phenomena, commenting them - to acquire and consolidate basic skills as well as the use of specific astronomical terminologies - to stimulate further study in the astrophysical and cosmological fields
The course is intended for all those who have even minimal knowledge of astronomy and intend to make use of it within their own pedagogical, educational, scientific plan. No special scientific skills are required. The Course has interdisciplinary characteristics for Degrees concerning Education Sciences, Primary Education Sciences, Cultural Sciences, Communication Sciences, Pedagogical Sciences, Teacher Training, Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences.

The selected scientific publications are indicated in the course pages. For reference purposes, the followings are mentioned:

  • Ivan Spelti, Sette lezioni di astronomia, Edizioni del Faro (TN), 2015
  • Andrea Cimatti, L’universo oscuro, Carocci Editore, 2017
  • Corrado Lamberti, Capire l’universo, Springer, 2011

The course is organized in three sections that deal with the following topics: the first ideas about the world and ancient astronomy, from the Copernican revolution to the classification of stars, the modern period and the current universe. The first two lessons focus on the ancient world. Afterwards, four lessons from the Copernican period to the 19th century and four lessons on the modern period, from the early 20th century to the present day, where the themes of stellar evolution, Relativity, Hubble's law and the current state of cosmological research will be discussed.
The Certificate of Participation and the Badge will be issued after the realization of the didactic activities planned in the course and after successful completion of the the evaluation tests.