ASTRO 120: The Sky and the Solar System
(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.
For the nonscientist. A survey of our view of the universe, and the exploration of the solar system and beyond. The sky: constellations; motions of the Sun, Moon, and planets; seasons and the calendar; eclipses. The solar system: origin and evolution; characteristics of the Sun, planets, satellites, comets, meteorites, and asteroids. The detection and characterization of other solar systems, and the search for life in the universe. Extensive use of the planetarium is included. Students who take Astro 120 may count credit in only one of Astro 102 or 103 toward graduation.
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas. Graduates are proficient in the methods of rigorous scientific analysis, relevant mathematical techniques, and modern computational and laboratory methods. They have a broad knowledge of physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and modern physics. They are able to communicate clearly and effectively at general and technical levels. They are prepared to pursue a wide range of careers as a professional physicist, astronomer, or science educator. They are also prepared to pursue advanced studies and careers in areas as diverse as engineering, medicine, law, and business administration. Many opportunities exist for students who terminate their studies with a bachelor’s degree, especially when combined with technology studies in other areas. Students who meet the necessary scholastic standards often continue their studies in a graduate college, exploring and contributing to new developments in the field.