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Course Description

Schoolcraft is excited to offer traditional credit face-to-face, hybrid, online, and remote classes for Fall 2020 while providing students a safe experience based on recent COVID-19 concerns.

Please see the COVID-19 web page to learn more. Keep checking the schedule for additions on our New, Added, and Late Starting Courses web page.

Physics - PHYS 104

Introduction to Astronomy

4 Credit Hours
3 Lecture Hours
2 Laboratory Hours

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 TitleLocationCredit HoursInstructorsSeats Available ⁄Capacity ⁄WaitlistStatusFeeDays-Time-Room

Fall; 2020; PHYSICS; No of Weeks : 12; Begins : 09/22/2020

 104142960Intro AstronomyONL4Holody P9/31/0Open$135.00 
 104142973Intro AstronomyONL4Hesselbach E18/31/0Open$135.00 

Fall; 2020; PHYSICS; No of Weeks : 15; Begins : 08/31/2020

 104142959Intro AstronomyONL4Wood C9/31/0Open$135.00 
 104142961Intro AstronomyONL4Pearse M5/31/0Open$135.00 
 104145103Intro AstronomyRMT4Hesselbach E7/24/0Open$165.00T R  03:30 PM-05:56 PM WEBWEB
 104145104Intro AstronomyRMT4Purcell B10/24/0Open$165.00M W  03:00 PM-05:26 PM WEBWEB
 104145151Intro AstronomyRMT4Purcell B14/24/0Open$165.00M W  07:00 PM-09:26 PM WEBWEB

Winter; 2021; PHYSICS; No of Weeks : 12; Begins : 02/02/2021

 104112962Intro AstronomyONL4Holody P31/31/0Open$135.00 

Winter; 2021; PHYSICS; No of Weeks : 15; Begins : 01/11/2021

 104112761Intro AstronomyONL4Pearse M31/31/0Open$135.00 
 104112917Intro AstronomyONL4Wood C31/31/0Open$135.00 
 104115107Intro AstronomyRMT4Hesselbach E25/25/0Open$165.00M W  03:00 PM-05:26 PM WEBWEB
 104115163Intro AstronomyRMT4Mason J25/25/0Open$165.00T R  06:00 PM-08:26 PM WEBWEB

Key: Day of the Week

  • T = Tuesday
  • R = Thursday
  • S = Saturday
  • X = Sunday