Online Course

Future Learn

What is the course about?

The course Moons is an online class provided by The Open University through Future Learn. It may be possible to receive a verified certification or use the course to prepare for a degree.
Explore the many moons of our Solar System. Find out what makes them special and ask whether we send humans to our Moon again._x000D_
Course description
  • Discover the amazing diversity of moons in our Solar System
  • 8 weeks
  • There are lots of moons in our Solar System. The Earth is the only planet with just a single moon. Some are bigger than ours. Many are much smaller. Some moons have ongoing volcanic eruptions. Others have rivers of liquid methane. A small handful may even be home to primitive life.
  • This online course will allow you to explore the rich diversity of moons in our Solar System. With experts from The Open University, you’ll explore the fundamental processes that have shaped them, and the relationship between our Moon and the Earth.
  • The course was produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.
  • What are moons?
  • Moons and what they are made of; craters and cratering
  • Volcanism on moons, Europa, small moons
  • Our Moon and how it has been explored
  • What we have learned from the Moon
  • Water on the Moon, and the future of lunar exploration
  • Exploring other moons:
  • Moons and the future; how many of them host life?
  • Develop an awareness of the nature and diversity of moons in our Solar System, and their significance
  • Explain and understand the general nature of moons’ orbits and the effects of tides
  • Describe some of the possible origins of moons
  • Describe the compositions and nature of the surfaces and interiors of moons
  • Calculate and understand how impact craters are formed and recognise their significance for dating surfaces
  • Describe the nature and history of volcanic activity on several moons
  • Assess and be aware of which moons may have subsurface oceans, and the implications for hosting native life
  • Classify and become aware of the history of manned and unmanned lunar exploration, and of some of the major discoveries
  • Identify and recognise aspects of lunar samples seen under the microscope
  • Describe the different settings in which ‘water’ has been found on the Moon
  • Describe and be aware of the history of discovery and exploration of moons, and of future prospects
  • Reflect and suggest ways in which resources from the Moon may help future space exploration
  • An interest in learning about the moons of our Solar System and the methods used to understand them. Prior knowledge of astronomy is not expected.
  • The Open University
  • The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Prerequisites & Facts


Course Topic

Earth Science, Nature & Environment, Science, Engineering & Maths

University, College, Institution

The Open University

Course Skill Level

Course Language


Place of class

Online, self-paced (see curriculum for more information)



Degree & Cost


To obtain a verified certificate from Future Learn / The Open University you have to finish this course or the latest version of it, if there is a new edition. The class may be free of charge, but there could be some cost to receive a verified certificate or to access the learning materials. The specifics of the course may have been changed, please consult the provider to get the latest quotes and news.
The Open University
provided by Future Learn


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School: The Open University
Topic: Earth Science, Nature & Environment, Science, Engineering & Maths
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