Jason Kendall

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Complete Introductory Astronomy Course

Below are 14 Modules of videos, all hosted on YouTube. They will take you through an entire introductory, college-level astronomy class. These videos were the basis of my classes at William Paterson University and CUNY Hunter.

I hold a Master of Science from New Mexico State University in Astronomy. My thesis focused on General Relativity and Cosmology. At the time, Dark Energy was unknown, and it was thought we lived in a matter-dominated universe. The question at the time was only how fast was the deceleration of the universe's expansion. To contribute to the discourse, my thesis was on the integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect in such a matter-dominated universe. My second is a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in Theater Arts. I specialized there in clown and mask theater, with my thesis in Acting. Mine was, and probably will always be, the only one written in LaTeX. I then came to New York City to make it big and quickly learned I needed to make money. I rode the dot-com bubble into the financial world as a systems admin. I ended up at Cantor Fitzgerald, where I was one of the late people for the World Trade Center disaster. In the ensuing months, I returned to Astronomy to help me work through the difficulties, all while staying in the Wall Street technology world. I eventually volunteered at the American Museum of Natural History and became a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador giving talks about current NASA missions. This led me to create an enormous public outreach program in New York City for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. My most important project was working with New York City Parks to turn off the lights in a park in Northern Manhattan for the International Day of Astronomy. This was the first time in NYC history that lights had been turned completely off for a public astronomy event. Since then, I taught at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey (2011-2020) and at City University of New York, Hunter College (2015-2018). Other notable events were national coverage of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Glendo, Wyoming for 1010 WINS Radio and WNYC Radio. I've given over a hundred public talks on Astronomy across the Northeast. I am a Full Member of the American Astronomical Society, and have coordinated star parties and amateur astronomer events at AAS Conferences nationwide. I truly enjoy communicating Astronomy to the public, and it's my deepest hope that as you watch these videos, you get a chance to have access to a complete undergraduate course (with a lot of additional material). I hope you enjoy them. If you'd like to contact me, please use the link in my Youtube channel. You can also follow me on Instagram. Please also consider supporting me through Patreon.

The science of astronomy is without a doubt the most fascinating thing you'll ever work on. We will deal with the origin of the Earth, the Sun, and the Universe. We'll learn the names of stars, and how to find them in the sky. We'll learn about ancient oceans on Mars and planets around other stars. We'll glimpse the madness of the surface of a neutron star, where you would weigh as much as a mountain if you stood on it. We'll witness the gossamer beauty of interstellar clouds, which are the birthplace of stars. We'll dive into a black hole where space and time crush together into a maelstrom of destruction. We'll learn what a shooting star is, and how you can find them. We'll see distant galaxies, all homes to billions of stars and countless planets. We'll tour Saturn's rings, and Jupiter's Great Red Spot. We'll even take a trip with a spacecraft all the way out to distant Pluto. In so doing, we'll learn how the physical laws that we measure in the laboratory here on Earth applies to the Moon, the stars, and places far beyond. We'll learn how to link physical arguments together to see why things work the way they do. The universe is filled with mysteries, but they are unlocked and made even more mysterious in that we can understand them. Natural Philosophy is the study of how logic and evidence link ideas together to come up with explanations for how things work in the real world. We don't have to rely on demons or gods to tell us how things work, and why they go the way they do. We rely on Newton's Laws of Motion, Einstein's Relativity, Maxwell's Laws of Electromagnetism, and the wildly counterintuitive world of quantum mechanics. For many centuries of human existence, we looked at the sky and wondered how it all came to be. Now, in this golden era of knowledge and exploration, humanity is coming close to truly understanding the origin of the universe, and discovering whether or not life could have arisen more than once in our Solar System. Don't get me wrong, the ideas are quite challenging, the vocabulary is odd, and the logic that links things together can take serious mental gymnastics, and you'll have to do more reading than you thought you would ever have to for an intro course. But the rewards are great, with this liberal art series that merges science with the greatest aspirations of human thought. This series will feed and water your inner 6-year-old, and inspire you with wonder. Every kid loved dinosaurs and planets. Now you get to go back and be that kid again.

Appearances in National Television, Radio, and Print