Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System
This is a general interest introductory course on the history of astronomy and the solar system, and is intended for non-science majors. Topics Include: Telescopes and observing the night sky, ancient astronomy, space exploration, the Earth/Moon system, formation and evolution of the solar system, the planets, minor members of the solar system and the Sun.
After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
- Describe and explain the birth of astronomy.
- Explain orbits and gravity, the seasons, and eclipses.
- Describe the phases of the moon.
- Explain radiation and spectra and their effects.
- Identify astronomical instruments.
- Describe the formation of the solar system.
- Identify and describe the properties of the planets, planetary rings, comets, asteroids, meteorites, and the sun.
Unit 1: Beginning the Cosmic Journey
Unit 2: The Nature of Gravity and Light
Unit 3: Our Solar System and the Search for Exoplanets
Unit 4: The Terrestrial Planets
Unit 5: The Jovian Planets, Asteroids, & Comets
Maximum Completion30 weeks.
Required Text and Materials
- Seeds, M., & Backman, D. The Solar System . 9th ed. Boston, MA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2013.
Type: ISBN : 978-1-305-12076-1
- Jayawardhana, R. Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System. Princeton University Press, 2013.
Type: ISBN: 978-0-691-15807-5
Open Learning Faculty Member Information
An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at start of course.
To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Exam.
|Assignment 1: NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)||12%|
|Assignment 2: Space News||8%|
|Test 1 (Units 1 & 2)||5%|
|Assignment 3: Citizen Science Project||10%|
|Assignment 4: Book Report and Quiz||10%|
|Test 2 (Units 3 & 4)||5%|
|Assignment 5: Observing the Night Sky||10%|