Online Course: The Science of the Solar System


Where is the water on Mars?
What is inside of a giant planet?
Where might we look for life in and beyond the solar system?

Mike Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy at Caltech, offers a new online course via Coursera.  Session begins March 31st.


The Science of the Solar System

Explore the solar system using concepts from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology. Learn the latest from Mars, explore the outer solar system, ponder planets outside our solar system, and search for habitability in the universe.

Sign up now! »

Brown is best known for his discovery of Eris, the largest object found in the solar system in 150 years, and the object which led to the debate and eventual demotion of Pluto from a real planet to a dwarf planet. In 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. At Caltech he teaches undergraduate and graduate students, in classes ranging from introductory geology to the formation and evolution of the solar system and has been awarded the Richard P. Feynman Prize, the highest teaching award at Caltech. He was also named one of Wired Online's Top Ten Sexiest Geeks in 2006, the mention of which never ceases to make his wife laugh. 

Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian Visits Caltech

"I waste too much time on Reddit. I wanted to tell him how much I hate him for that." Graduate Student Manan Arya (left) poses with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

"I waste too much time on Reddit. I wanted to tell him how much I hate him for that."
Graduate Student Manan Arya (left) poses with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

Tech entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian visited Caltech to promote his book Without Their Permission. Caltech students and guests turned out to Hameetman auditorium to hear Ohanian speak about his experience building Reddit into one of the internet's top news sharing sites, with more than 100 million users.

Greg Tanaka (left) with Ohanian

Greg Tanaka (left) with Ohanian

"As Caltech students, you have the tools and the skills to cut out the middle man and change the world," Ohanian said.

Ohanian engaged in a "fireside chat" with former student Greg Tanaka, founder of the startup Bay Sensors in Palo Alto, to speak about how Tanaka's Caltech education has helped to shape his experience as an entrepreneur.

Caltech Pranksters Strike BCS Title Game at the Rose Bowl

On Monday, when it seemed all eyes were on the Bowl Championship Series national title football game at the Rose Bowl, 100 Caltech undergraduates performed a two-part prank. Early in the morning, the group erected a 2,000-square-foot sign that spelled out "Pasadena" on a hillside overlooking the Rose Bowl. Then, just before the game's halftime, they used 6,300 orange lights to illuminate and transform the sign so that it read "Caltech." 

"The scale of this prank is really what makes it amazing," said Caltech senior Julie Jester. "The design had a lot of us, including myself, very worried that we'd be unable to make it so big. On top of the sheer size, we had to figure out how to actually transport everything up the steep, thin, long, and winding trail to the top of the mountain. By putting our heads together we managed to work through all of the issues."

Read more in the Pasadena Star News.

Written by Allison Benter