Print Page

Astronomy (ASTR 1100)

Credits: 4
Lecture Credits: 3.00
Lab Credits: 1.00

Description: This survey course introduces the objects and processes in the universe with particular emphasis on collections of ordinary matter like planets, stars, and galaxies; more exotic matter like pulsars, black holes, and dark matter; their interactions; and the human place in and responsibility to the environment and universe. You will explore stargazing, the scale of our universe, a brief history of astronomy, how astronomers know what they know, our solar system, comparative planetary environments, threats to our environment, the Greenhouse Effect, other solar systems, the birth, life and death of stars, dark matter and dark energy, and the origin and fate of our universe. This course includes two hours of required lab per week, which must be taken on campus.

Topical Outline:

1. Observing the day and night sky

2. The process of science and a brief history of astronomy

3. Waves, Spectra and the Doppler Effect

4. Our solar system

5. Birth, life and death of stars

6. Content, size, origin and fate of the universe

Learning Outcomes:
1. Illustrate, document, and explain various astronomical phenomena, collections of cosmic matter, motions, scaling, and sizes throughout the universe
2. Discuss the process of science, giving examples from both the history of astronomy and everyday life
3. Recognize, understand and explain types of spectra and different methods to measure speed and distance
4. Discuss the life and death of stars by outlining the current theory of how stars and planets form and the ways stars die
5. Give an overview of the Big Bang theory, including how it explains the evolution of the universe and include supporting evidence
6. Clearly document and interpret procedures, data, and conclusions in the laboratory exercises 


Background in mathematics is recommended, but not required.

MnTC: Goal 3