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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: ASTR 108
Course Title: Introduction to Astronomy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

A survey of the development of astronomy through the years. Topics covered include the historical evolution of our understanding of our place in the universe, astronomical instruments, the Earth-Moon system, the solar system, the Sun and other stars, galaxies and cosmology. G.E. Prerequisite: MATH 106 or above.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): MATH 106 or above.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Even Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe
By Chaisson & McMillan (Pearson)
Discovering the Universe
By Comins & Kaufmann (W.H. Freeman )
In Quest of the Universe
By Koupelis and Kuhns (Jones & Bartlett)
21st Century Astronomy
By Kay, Palen, and Blumenthal (W.W. Norton)
Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy
By Arny and Schneider (McGraw-Hill)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Examine the major types of objects in the universe and their properties.
  2. Outline basic physical principles underlying astronomical theories and methods of observation.
  3. Describe instruments and methods used by observational astronomers.
  4. Investigate scientific theories on the origin and structure of the universe, and how these have evolved over time.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Astronomical measurement
  • Properties of light and matter
  • Telescopes
  • The Earth-Moon system
  • The solar system: Sun, planets, moons, and interplanetary matter
  • Extrasolar planets
  • Properties, classification, and life-cycles of stars
  • Structure and classification of galaxies
  • Cosmology and the Big Bang theory of the universe

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Frank Somer Date: December 6, 2017
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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