Course at a Glance

September 24
This class has been cancelled.

The Universe in a Nutshell


With Mark Bailey

  • Meeting 1: Introduction to the history of astronomy. How have we progressed to what we know today? What concepts and instruments have been developed that make modern astronomy possible?
  • Meeting 2: Galaxies and the Great Beyond. What are galaxies? What is the structure of the Universe? How big is it? How did it begin? Will it end? What is the meaning of it all? (Just kidding!)
  • Meeting 3: Stars. What are they? How do they shine? How do they "die"? How far are they? How do we know? How do our planets compare with the ever-expanding zoo of newly discovered planets orbiting other stars? What can we say about the existence of extraterrestrial life?
  • Meeting 4: "Star Party" TBA. An evening under the stars using telescopes, binoculars, and naked eye observing. This class meeting will likely take place on or near Tuesday, October 1. Weather and class preference will decide exactly when.
  • Meeting 5: Solar System. Rocky Worlds and Asteroids. What are these Inner Planets like? How do we know? What are our plans for interacting with these nearby objects?
  • Meeting 6: Solar System. Worlds of Gas and Ice. Why are they so different? How have they influenced the formation of the Solar System? A release of liability form is required.


Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey is a longtime science instructor who has taught multiple topics over a 30 year career in science education. He has also taught several OLLI classes. His subject areas of expertise include Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Geology, Biology and Natural History, European Prehistory, and Classical Mediterranean History with a Greek and Roman emphasis. He has taught every grade level in the sciences from kindergarten to graduate level college courses and emphasizes the latest up-to-date topic matter. He has extensively traveled throughout the world with an eye towards natural history and historical explorations.