Astronomy courses

Courses

ASTR 104. Cosmology in the Twentieth Century.

The twentieth century saw the emergence of a coherent scientific understanding of the physical universe as a whole. According to this understanding, the universe has evolved from a hot, dense, and rapidly expanding soup of elementary particles into the system of galaxies we see today. But the picture is not complete, and topping the list of unresolved puzzles is the identity of the so-called dark matter. We cannot see the dark matter (hence its name), but we do measure its gravitational influences on matter we can see. The disconcerting conclusion is that there is much more dark matter than visible matter. This course examines the development of modern cosmology, with attention to both that which seems to be well-understood and that which is not yet understood. Enrollment limited to 64. [S] [Q] Normally offered every year. E. Wollman.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AT/GE 110. Lunar and Planetary Science/Lab.

An introduction to the solar system using the methods of physics and geology. The historical development of our understanding of planetary motion leads to the contemporary view of celestial mechanics essential to exploration by spacecraft. The composition, formation, and age of the solar system are examined, together with the physical processes involved in the development of planetary interiors and surfaces. Basic algebra and geometry are used throughout. Laboratory work emphasizes the principles of remote sensing and exploration technology. Nighttime telescope work is expected. Enrollment limited to 56. [S] [L] [Q] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Concentrations
Short Term Courses

AT/GE s11. Finding Ourselves in the Cosmos.

With the help of small telescopes and cameras, students observe the night sky and form a picture of our location in space relative to members of our own solar system and to the stars and galaxies. Students observe star trails, motions of the sun and moon, positions of planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Images are processed digitally. A strong background in basic geometry and algebra is recommended. The course includes as many observation nights as the weather allows. Recommended background: Geometry and algebra. New course beginning Short Term 2016. Enrollment limited to 16. [S] [L] [Q] One-time offering. R. Saha.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations