This visually rich course is designed to provide a nontechnical description of modern astronomy, including the structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole. It includes almost all of the material in my first two astronomy courses for The Teaching Company, produced in 1998 and 2003, but with a large number of new images, diagrams, and animations. The discoveries reported in the 2003 course are integrated throughout these new lectures, and more recent findings (through mid-2006) are included, as well. Much has happened in astronomy during the past few years; we will discuss the most exciting and important advances.
Balloon Astronomy were founded as a rock duo, clearly inspired by Jethro Tull, Strawbs, Anthony Phillips, Mike Oldfield, Supertramp, Renaissance, Cat Stevens, Elton John, and especially Genesis, in San Diego, California, by Jim Ledger (voices, bass, guitars) and Glenn Little (keyboards, flutes) in 2011. Balloon Astronomy's self titled debut album is a nice blend of singer/songwriter oriented material and symphonic art rock. The compositions are distinctly melodic throughout, and more often than not the moods and atmospheres explored easily justify a description as melancholic. An album for those with a taste for the gentler side of the art rock universe in general, and in particular those among them with an affection for frequent use of acoustic based, stripped down themes throughout an album.