AST 111 : Introduction to Astronomy: The Solar System
This course is a descriptive and conceptual Introduction to Astronomy with a focus on our Solar System. The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, topics such as the History of Astronomy; Patterns in the Night Sky; Gravity and Orbits, and Tools of the Astronomer are covered. In the second part of the course, topics include: Solar System Formation; Terrestrial Planets (Atmospheres, Geology, and possibilities for Life); The Gas Giants; Moons and Rings; Asteroids (including Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud); Meteors and Comets; and Dwarf Planets. Current events topics will also be interwoven into the course. The laboratory portion of this course consists of computer-based exercises, home-based Astronomical observations, and, when possible, campus-based sky-gazing and Planetarium use. Pre-requisite: High School Science and Introductory Algebra Competency or the equivalent recommended. Three class hours and two laboratory hours per week. Instructional Support Fee applies. Gen Ed. Competencies met: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery. 4 credits Fall, Spring, Summer
- Students will demonstrate their knowledge of basic facts, principles, theories, and methods of a modern science, astronomy, as well as its relevance to modern culture and society.
- Students will recognize the physical processes and dynamics that shape the solar system and its contents.
- Students will be able to describe the characteristics of objects within the solar system including the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.
- Students will learn key events in the history of science; with particular emphasis on astronomy, as well as some of the latest results in the field.