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AST 101 Survey of Astronomy
Credit Hours:  4
Effective Term: Fall 2008
SUN#: None
Credit Breakdown: 3 Lecture/ 3 Lab
Times for Credit: 1
Grading Option: A/F

Description: An introduction to the history of astronomy, use of astronomical instruments, celestial motion, space flight, planetary systems, structure and evolution of stars, galaxies and cosmology. Labs will include nighttime observing sessions.

Prerequisites: RDG100A or RDG100B; MAT092


Recommendations: None

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes
1. Identify prominent constellations, stars, planets, and other astronomical objects under the nighttime sky.
2. Use binoculars, astronomical telescopes and related instruments to make astronomical observations.
3. Describe the historical development of modern astronomy and the development of the scientific method.
4. Explain basic physical laws and principles that govern the operation of the universe.
5. Describe the physical nature of the sun, moon and planets along with the stars and galaxies. Explain the natural systems operating within these objects.
6. Explain the evolution of various astronomical objects and discuss questions about the origin and fate of the universe.
Internal/External Standards Accreditation
1. Identify prominent constellations, stars, planets, and other astronomical objects under the nighttime sky. Determine the phase of the moon correctly.
2. Make, record and interpret various astronomical observations using instruments available in classroom setting.
3. Outline the history of astronomical thought and show how the scientific method has been used in solving the mysteries of the universe.
4. Explain the nature of the electromagnetic spectrum and describe the various instruments and methods used by astronomers to detect this radiation.
5. Describe the physical properties of the planets and their satellites and explain the dynamic systems that operate there to bring about changes.
6. Describe the nature of the minor members of the solar system and the danger they may be to humans.
7. Describe the physical properties of the sun and other stars, including variables.
8. Draw and label a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and explain how it is used.
9. Describe binary star systems and star clusters.
10. List and explain the steps in the evolution of stars with various masses, from birth, through their life, and until death.
11. Describe the structure, content and dynamics of the Milky Way Galaxy.
12. Describe the events that led to the discovery of other galaxies and the expansion of the universe.
13. Describe the existence of active galaxies and the possible evolutionary paths for these objects.
14. Describe current theories about the origin and fate of the universe.
15. Describe the probability for the existence of extraterrestrial life and intelligence, along with the possibility of making contact.