Introduction to Astronomy
As Taught In:
Online period 2020/2021
=> Slide Notes
This online introduction course presents early learning in Astronomy, including the current investigations of life on other planets. Course topics include:
- modern methods of observational astronomy,
- an overview of the scientific method,
- the age and origin of the Solar System,
- descriptions of the planets, and
- discussions of the possibility of life on other planets.
All the reading, course material, and assessments are online with registrations, there are no regularly scheduled class meetings, and by terms, learners can learn where and whenever they want it. That makes it purely an introductory course. Therefore there are no prerequisites.
Upon completing this course, students should be able to describe the Big Bang, explain the age and origin of the Solar System, and illustrate the differences between Earth and other planets in the Solar System. Importantly, learners will have the scientific basis to summarize conditions necessary for life and assess scientific evidence for life on other planets.
Our Courses are self-written. All lecture notes, PowerPoint, and reading material are available online as HTML and pdf files. There is no other required text. (login required to access it).
The course “Introduction to Astronomy” is an online course. All course materials are available online. Learning methods include lecture notes, asynchronous threaded discussions, weekly assignments, an online portfolio at the end of each chapter, and links to additional material.
The course has a total of 12 lessons. Each lesson requires about 2 hours to complete, including reading, a short assignment, a discussion, and a summary.
Lec 01 – Introduction: Discussion of the Field of Astronomy, Units, and Measurements, Overview of Objectives
Lec 02 – How Science is Done, the Scientific Process, Examples of Successful Science, How to Find Good Science
Lec 03 – The Big Bang, Formation of Elements, and Different Kinds of Radiation
Lec 04 – Discovery of the Galaxy and the Vastness of Space in terms of Expansion of the Universe
Lec 05 – Discovery of the Solar System, Age of the Solar System, Clues from Meteorites, and Clues from Comets
Lec 06 – Methods of Observational Astronomy by Introduction to Telescopes, Spectroscopy, and Stars, Measuring Distances to Stars
Lec 07 – The Life-Giving Sun from the Electromagnetic Spectrum, The Sun’s Structure, and Nuclear Fusion
Lec 08 – Planets of the Solar System from the Jovian Planets and the Terrestrial Planets
Lec 09 – The Earth in Space by Introduction to Earth, Comparing Earth to other Terrestrial Planets
Lec 10 – The Search for Extrasolar Planets since The First Discoveries of Extrasolar Planets, Are there planets like Earth? Methods for Finding Extrasolar Planets
Lec 11 – Modern Views of Mars from Life on Mars, to Atmosphere and Geology of Mars
Lec 12 – Universe EndGame in Predictions for the Future of Our Universe