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Astronomy

Course Descriptions

ASTR 051: Solar System and Beyond

Credits: 5.0

An introduction to astronomy exploring the planets, moons, asteroids, sun of our solar system, and the stars, black holes, pulsars and other objects beyond it. Direct observation of the night sky will be integral part of the course. Counts toward high school science credit (was ASTRO 051).

Course Level Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the basic structure and mechanics of our solar system. [COMMUNICATE]
  • Describe how the regular and predictable motions of most objects in the solar system appear from Earth and account for such phenomena as the day, year, phases of the moon, eclipses, seasons and ocean tides. [COMMUNICATE]
  • Compare and contrast the basic structural similarities and differences between types of planets, moons, stars and galaxies. [REASON]
  • Identify and describe fundamental concepts of astronomy such as gravity, the light year, retrograde motion, elliptical orbits, etc. [REASON]
  • Explain theories of how the Earth and other celestial bodies in the universe formed and are continuing to evolve. [REASON]
  • Analyze the merits of competing scientific hypotheses. [REASON]
  • Identify and describe how scientific knowledge evolves, by exploring the contributions of significant early astronomers. [REASON]
  • Identify and describe how major space missions have contributed to the field of astronomy. [REASON]

  • ASTR& 110: The Solar System

    Credits: 5.0

    A study of the solar system; light and optics; telescopes; history and development of astronomy. Six hours of lecture and laboratory weekly. Concurrent enrollment in the lecture and lab is required. Night observing sessions are a required part of the lab. S/U grade option. Prerequisite(s): MATH 090 or MATH 095 with a grade of 2.0 or higher and placement in ENGL& 101.

    Course Level Objectives

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of general scientific principles, with an emphasis on the fundamental astrophysical principles that govern the solar system and universe. These include the principles underlying physical theories and processes of scientific discovery, and the nature of scientific evidence upon which contemporary astronomical theories are based. [REASON]
  • Describe the contributions of different cultures to Western scientific thought in astronomy. [EXPLORE]
  • Analyze physical systems, solve problems, and answer questions using mathematics appropriate to astronomy and performing calculations appropriate to the task. [REASON]
  • Clearly communicate fundamental knowledge particular to astronomy with their peers using appropriate vocabulary. [COMMUNICATE]

  • ASTR 120: Stars and Galaxies

    Credits: 5.0

    Second course in astronomy focusing on stars, galaxies, and the universe. Looks at stellar configurations, stellar evolution from nebulae to black holes, galactic structure, evolution and cosmology. S/U grade option. Prerequisite(s): MATH 090 or MATH 095 with a minimum grade of 2.0 or equivalent and placement in ENGL& 101.

    Course Level Objectives

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of general scientific principles, with an emphasis on the fundamental astrophysical principles that govern the stars, galaxy, and universe. These include the principles underlying physical theories and processes of scientific discovery, and the nature of scientific evidence upon which contemporary astronomical theories are based. [REASON]
  • Describe the contributions of different cultures to western scientific thought in astronomy. [EXPLORE]
  • Analyze physical systems, solve problems, and answer questions using mathematics appropriate to astronomy and performing calculations appropriate to the task. [REASON]
  • Clearly communicate fundamental knowledge particular to astronomy with their peers using appropriate vocabulary. [COMMUNICATE]

  • ASTR 199: Special Projects

    Credits: 5.0

    Individual projects in astronomy.

    Course Level Objectives

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Complete an independent project (research or expression) on a focused area of interest or need, either individually or as a member of a research team. [REASON]
  • Develop specific concepts or materials relevant to the project topic. [REASON]
  • Develop, with guidance, a comprehensive approach or activity which supplements the learning in a particular course or program of study. [EXPLORE]
  • Develop, implement, and complete a total project adhering to established or innovative procedures and due dates. [ACT]
  • Read, evaluate, and interpret physical concepts and findings in general, technical, and research literature. [REASON]
  • Demonstrate the ability to construct, articulate, and defend a valid scientific argument and to critique others' arguments and techniques. [COMMUNICATE]

  • ASTR 299: Special Projects

    Credits: 5.0

    Individual projects in astronomy.

    Course Level Objectives

    Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Complete an independent project (research or expression) on a focused area of interest or need, either individually or as a member of a research team [REASON]
  • Develop specific concepts or materials relevant to the project topic. [REASON]
  • Develop, with guidance, a comprehensive approach or activity which supplements the learning in a particular course or program of study. [EXPLORE]
  • Develop, implement, and complete a total project adhering to established or innovative procedures and due dates. [ACT]
  • Read, evaluate, and interpret physical concepts and findings in general, technical, and research literature. [REASON]
  • Demonstrate the ability to construct, articulate, and defend a valid scientific argument and to critique others' arguments and techniques. [COMMUNICATE]