Course Abstract Details

GEOSC-210, Astronomy: Introduction to the Cosmos

Credits: 4

This is a General Education Course

Course Description

GEOSC-210, Astronomy: Introduction to the Cosmos, is an introduction to astronomy which concentrates on developing an overall understanding of the current theories of the structure of the universe, the limits of our understanding, and the current methods being used to extend our knowledge. The topics covered in the course include: cosmology, galactic structure and evolution, stellar evolution and classification, solar system structure and evolution, and the possibility of and the search for life in the universe. Prerequisite: exemption/completion of MAT-099 and READ-099 with "C" grades or better. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory each week. Four credits. Four billable hours. GENERAL EDUCATION

Course Objectives and Grading Information

COURSE OBJECTIVES Upon completion of this course, students should be able to: 

1. State present theories about the formation and demise of several celestial objects: comets, asteroids, moons, planets, stars, and galaxies. (GE1, GE2, GE3, PG4) 

2. Describe some techniques used to measure the densities of, the masses of, the temperatures of, the sizes of and distances to: comets, asteroids, moons, planets, stars and galaxies. (GE1, GE2, GE3, GE4, GE7, PG1, PG2, PG3, PG4) 

3. Identify some of the tools that astronomers use today to study celestial bodies. (GE1, PG4) 

4. Use the laws of Kepler, Newton and Wien. (GE1, GE2, GE3, PG1, PG2, PG3, PG4) 

5. Explain our present understanding of atoms (particles and radioactivity) and photons (electro-magnetic waves, i.e. light quanta). (GE1, GE2, GE3, PG4) 

6. Investigate the source of energy for glowing bodies like our sun. (GE2, GE3, GE5, PG4) 

7. Describe the motions and the causes of a variety of events, including: phases, eclipses, tides, earthquakes and collisions. (GE1, GE2, GE3, GE4, GE7, PG1, PG4) 

8. Discuss dark matter and dark energy. (GE1, GE2, GE3, GE4, GE5, PG4) 

9. Understand present theories on stellar spectra and the classification of stars. (GE2, GE3, PG4) 

10. Explore the present model of the origin, the age and the size of the universe. (GE2, GE3, PG4) 

11. State the Drake equation concerning the possibility of life on other worlds. (GE5, GE6, PG4)    

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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