Astronomy

This course will be an introductory astronomy survey course with a strong emphasis in planetary science. There will be overviews of all the major bodies in our solar system, as well as stars, galaxies, origins and evolution of the solar system and the universe, and the possibility of life in the universe. The course will cover significant solar system processes such as impact, tectonics, volcanism, atmospheric processes, effects of the solar wind, as well as the basics of orbital mechanics. Also covered will be the history of exploration of each of the bodies in our solar system. Planetary surfaces, atmospheres, interiors, magnetic fields, and ring systems and their associated origins and processes will be explored. Also, the Sun and its effects on the planets will be addressed. Though not an observational astronomy class per se, students will be taught how to and required to make basic observations of the night sky not requiring a telescope, of objects such as planets, the Moon, meteors, satellites, and stars.