Fly Me to the Moon…

The team behind The Open University’s  upcoming ‘Moons’ MOOC unveils what learners can expect to discover by exploring the many moons of our Solar System in this exciting free online course.

Moons - free online course

The wonders of the Earth’s Moon and moons generally have been a source of fascination for scientists for centuries and now a new free course by The Open University will harness that knowledge to enlighten ordinary enthusiasts.

Moons, is The Open University’s second course offered free on its social-learning platform FutureLearn. Learners can explore the many moons of our Solar System and discover, through interactive learning and a visual feast of images and video, exactly what makes moons so special. Interviews with renowned moons experts from around the globe are included as well as fun learning activities such as an online game of Moon Trumps.

Topics covered will include asking the bigger questions – such as whether it makes sense to send humans back to the Moon – as well as looking at the composition of moons, their importance and why some of them are thought capable of hosting microbial life. Learners can view images of lunar samples and explore detailed views of the surfaces of the moons of other planets. The course is accessible to those new to the subject and with no prior knowledge. Spread over eight weeks, learners commit to three hours of study each week with weekly multiple-choice checks that culminate in a final review.

Lead academic Dr David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences, says: “This is such an exciting time for moons exploration.  The course will provide a lot of answers to those who want to know more about moons, and perhaps spark further learning of planetary science and astronomy.”

So come and join us and explore the wonders of the Earth’s Moon.

UPDATE – after a successful first run, this course start again on 2 February 2015.

Category Learning

Comments (45)


  • funzi

    I like the course, this program is very good for me to know more about the solar’s system and also to study .

  • funzi

    Hello! Is it true that the earth is big than solar?

  • James Booth

    I love the future learn course on “moons” that I am doing but I always have trouble getting back to the course after I have turned the computer off.

  • Stephen Wells

    Since the first presentation of this course, a probe has visited Pluto and Charon. Has the course been updated to reflect this new information?

  • Jacobo Arevalo-Hoelscher

    Can’t wait to get started!

  • Daniel Hussein

    Am eagerly waiting for it.

  • Ali

    My husband and I are very interested but are away for a week or two of the course, is that an issue or is there opportunity to catch up without ruining the chance of completion/certificates?

  • Karen Osborne

    I am looking forward to gaining some understanding of the moons and planets.

  • Graham Holland

    Having completed the Orion course and nearly completing the course on Moons, I have very much enjoyed both courses and I was wondering if there are any other future learn courses on the subject of Astronomy. I would be very keen and interested to find this out. Will you therefore be kind enough to let me know if anything and if any courses are being planned for the future. Thank you. Graham.

  • myakaykhine

    I have started now. I read this article.

  • Ray

    As a complete beginner, I’m apprehensive about the Physics involved; but perhaps the course may cater for that disadvantage in other ways.

  • Charley

    Do you do this in your own time as long as you have done 3 hours a week and have accessed the materials from this website?

  • Michael Hodgson

    Excited about the course.

    • Mit

      I’ve just joined the course – my first and I’m very much looking forward to it!

  • Charles F. Fromme. Jr.

    As with many of your other comments, I too am looking forward to your second offering of the Open University’s Moons. Couldn’t be soon enough, Charles


    Due to possible Hospitalisation in early 2015 for unknown period. How long will the course be available once the official end date has been reached?
    I believe that some courses can be finished up to a year from start date, is that correct?

    • The FutureLearn team

      Hi Jacki,
      Thanks for the question. If you join the course now or while it’s running, you’ll be able to access it indefinitely after the end date.

  • peter dijkhuizen

    Looking forward to this course—- any books to read or look at?

  • Glyn

    Hi folks, the link on the introductory email doesn’t load to survey monkey but back to the main course page. Regards g

  • Alain

    I missed the course earlier this year and am very please that is has been re-programmed for 2015. I look forward to the course.

  • Paul

    I’m truly gutted that I didn’t know about futurelearn back in March. I’ve been waiting patiently for it to come back round. PLEASE can you repeat the course. I’m hoping if enough people ask some decision maker will decide to put the course back up.

  • Andrew

    I hope you do repeat this course as I would like to enroll as well.

  • Katie

    Please can you include a future presentation section on the webpage, we in SRS get lots of enquiries when this will be run again. Most future learn courses repeat 3 monthly, will this be the case for this course? Thanks

    • The FutureLearn team

      Hi Katie, thank you for getting in touch. You can view all of our courses and their start dates here:
      All prospective courses and repeat runs are confidential until they open for enrolment. Keep an eye on our website and newsletter where we will let you know about any new courses as we announce them.
      Thanks and happy learning,
      The FutureLearn team

  • jane winthorpe

    Would like to enrol if this course is repeated, missed it this time around.

    • Lily at FutureLearn

      Unfortunately this course is now closed for enrolment. There may be a future run of the course though so keep an eye on our newsletters.

  • jane winthorpe

    If this course is repeated iwould be interested in enrolling, missed it this time around.

  • Howard

    Hi. Unfortunately missed the course enrollment. Understand I might be able to enroll withing 2 weeks of course start date but can’t work out how to do that. Can you help please?

    • Lily at FutureLearn

      Hi Howard, as the course is now in its third week, you have unfortunately missed the opportunity to enrol this time around. There may be a second run however so keep an eye on our newsletters where we will keep you updated.

  • Howard

    Unfortunately I missed the start too. Is there any way to enrol now please/

  • Luna

    Is there a way to join the MOOC now? I just learned about it today, and would really like to participate, but I can’t find a way to register. Thanks!

    • Lily at FutureLearn

      Hi Luna, as the course is now in its third week, you have unfortunately missed the opportunity to enrol this time around. There may be a second run however so keep an eye on our newsletters where we will keep you updated.

  • Mike

    Is it still possible to register for this course? Just found out about it today.

    • Lily at FutureLearn

      Hi Mike, as the course is now in its third week, you have unfortunately missed the opportunity to enrol this time around. There may be a second run however so keep an eye on our newsletters where we will keep you updated.

  • Robert Hartness

    I am the Convenor of an amateur Astronomy group and the other night we photographed the four moons of Jupiter. Would anyone on this course like to see the image we captured?If so, is there any special way it can be posted up or should I just post it it on our twitter site at ?

    • Lily at FutureLearn

      Hi Robert, that sounds brilliant. You should certainly share it on your Twitter account so that other learners can see the images that you have captured. You could paste a link to it into a discussion within the course so that other learners can see it too.

  • Michelle

    Really looking forward to starting this course

  • Toyin

    Countdown begun – looking forward to this journey!

  • Lee Scott

    Really looking forward to Monday!

  • Peter Cooper

    I am very interested in this course but am enrolled in two others which run at about the same time. I would like to know if this course will be repeated at a later date and if so when?

    • Hi Peter,
      We are not sure yet whether the course will have a re-run. I suggest you enrol on the course now and then you will still be able to access the material after the course has closed for enrolment and when you have some more time.
      I hope you are enjoying your courses so far.

  • Joey

    Cannot wait for this to start. 🙂