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Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation
Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology
Course: AST112

First Term: 2019 Spring
Lecture   4.0 Credit(s)   3.0 Period(s)   3.0 Load  
Subject Type: Academic
Load Formula: T - Lab Load

Description: Introduction to astronomy for the non-science major. Structure and evolution of stars; supernovae, black holes, and quasars; nebulae; star clusters; galaxies; cosmology, including the birth and death of the universe.

MCCCD Official Course Competencies
1. Apply the scientific method and other critical thinking models to astronomical phenomena for hypotheses development, experiment design, and data analysis. (I-VII)
2. Explain the application of fundamental physical principles to various astronomical phenomena. (II-VII)
3. Describe the features and motions of the celestial sphere and celestial objects and explain the causes of these motions. (II)
4. Describe in terms of energy, wavelength, and frequency the various portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and the optical instruments to be used to detect them. (III)
5. Describe and evaluate the physical properties of stars, classify them according to spectral type, and place them on a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. (IV)
6. Explain the various methods of determining the distances to astronomical objects. (IV, VI, VII)
7. Use a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram to describe the stages in the formation, evolution, death, and remnants of low and high-mass stars. (V)
8. Describe and characterize the interstellar medium.(V)
9. Describe the structure and scale of the Milky Way galaxy and explain the observational evidence for that structure. (VI)
10. Describe the properties of different galaxy types and how these properties affect the observational characteristics of galaxies. (VI)
11. Explain the observations and power mechanisms for active galaxies. (VI)
12. Describe dark matter, including its observational characteristics, how it affects galaxy dynamics, and possible sources and alternative theories. (VI)
13. Describe Hubble`s Law, its implications for observational astronomy, and its importance in understanding the dynamics, physical properties, and evolution of the Universe. (VII)
14. Describe the stages in the birth and possible end states of the Universe. (VII)
15. Describe dark energy, including its observational characteristics, how it affects the dynamics of the Universe, and possible sources and alternative theories. (VII)
MCCCD Official Course Outline
I. Introduction to scientific thinking
   A. The scientific method and experiment design
   B. Mathematics review
II. Motions of celestial objects
   A. Horizon and equatorial coordinate systems
   B. Motions of the earth and planets
   C. Distance measurements: parallax
III. Light and optics
   A. The electromagnetic spectrum
   B. Kirchhoff`s Laws and spectra
   C. Brightness and luminosity
   D. Wein`s Law and Stefan-Boltzmann Law
   E. Types of telescopes, mounts, and detectors
IV. Stellar properties
   A. Kepler`s Laws and binary star systems
   B. Stellar temperatures, radii, and masses
   C. Spectral classification of stars
   D. The Hertzspring-Russell diagram
   E. Distance measurements: spectroscopic parallax
V. Stellar evolution
   A. The interstellar medium
   B. Birth of low and high-mass stars
   C. Evolution and death of low and high-mass stars
   D. Stellar remnants
VI. Galaxies
   A. Distance measurements: standard candles and intrinsic variables
   B. Structure of the Milky Way galaxy
   C. Classification of galaxies
   D. Active galaxies
   E. Dark matter
VII. Cosmology
   A. Hubble`s Law
   B. Dark energy
   C. Birth and death of the universe
MCCCD Governing Board Approval Date: May 1, 2018

All information published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.