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Course Description

Physics - PHYS 104

Introduction to Astronomy (3-2) 4 Cr. Hrs.

Course Description

PHYS 104 is a one-semester introduction to astronomy that utilizes laboratories and basic mathematics to assist in, and expand upon, the exploration of the course topics. Earth-sky relationships, the solar system, stellar astronomy, cosmology and astrobiology will be covered. Several space exploration missions will also be featured. This course is not intended for science majors.


(A requirement that must be completed before taking this course.)

  • MATH 53 or a minimum score of 19 ACT-Math, 25 SAT-Math, 78 CPT-Elementary Algebra or 250 NGA-Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics or one year of high school algebra.

Course Competencies

Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Apply the equatorial and horizontal coordinate systems, in conjunction with the celestial sphere, for location and navigation.
  • Apply the distance ladder methods to determine the distance of celestial objects.
  • Examine the electromagnetic spectrum using photon and wave models.
  • Apply radiation laws such as Wien's law, Kirchoff's laws, Stefan-Boltzmann law and Planck's law.
  • Explore the goals and operation of several well-known terrestrial and non-terrestrial telescopes working in visible and non-visible frequency bands.
  • Examine celestial motions, cycles and configurations.
  • Examine lunar phases, lunar cycles, lunar eclipses and solar eclipses.
  • Examine the formation and current state of the solar system.
  • Differentiate terrestrial and Jovian planets.
  • Differentiate meteoroids, asteroids, comets, moons and dwarf planets.
  • Diagram the composition and key characteristics of the sun.
  • Relate stellar luminosity, surface temperature, brightness, composition, size and mass.
  • Classify stellar types and life cycles.
  • Identify key features of the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Classify galaxies in terms of formation, type and evolution.
  • Explore Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity.
  • Apply Kepler’s and Newton’s laws.
  • Explore how black holes form, their effect on space-time and their role in the structure of galaxies.
  • Explore the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy and the evolution of the Universe.
  • Explain criteria used to search for extra-terrestrial life.

Course Schedule

 CourseSectionCourse TitleModeCredit HoursInstructorsFeeSeats Available ⁄Capacity ⁄WaitlistStatusDays-Time-Room

Winter; 2019; PHYSICS; No of Weeks : 12; Begins : 02/04/2019

 104112962Intro AstronomyOnline4Holody P$127.0013/31/0Open 
 104115101Intro Astronomy 4Hesselbach E$157.0013/22/0OpenM W  02:30 PM-05:35 PM AS210

Winter; 2019; PHYSICS; No of Weeks : 15; Begins : 01/14/2019

 104112917Intro AstronomyOnline4Wood C$127.009/31/0Open 
 104115107Intro Astronomy 4Alway P$157.000/24/1ClosedM W  03:00 PM-05:26 PM F460
 104115163Intro Astronomy 4Janes C$157.0014/24/0OpenT R  06:00 PM-08:26 PM F460
 104115164Intro Astronomy 4Alway P$157.0014/24/0OpenM W  07:00 PM-09:26 PM F460