This course presents an introduction to the field of astronomy and astrophysics with an emphasis on the discoveries from space exploration. The first third of the course deals with understanding the history of astronomy, orbits, gravitation, optics, and the properties of light and matter. The rest of the course explores the properties, origin, and evolution of the major planets, asteroids, comets, the Sun, and other components of the Solar System with particular emphasis on comparative aspects with respect to the Earth. The origin and formation of the Solar System and the origin of life will also be discussed.
Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, midterm, and a final examination.
This course is intended for non-science concentrators with a basic high school math and science background.
ASTRO 101 has a one-hour discussion section.