ASTR 1151
Introductory Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies

3.0 Credits


This is a general interest introductory course on the night sky, stars and galaxies, and is intended for non-science majors. Topics Include: Telescopes and observing the night sky, radiation and spectra, stellar properties and evolution, black holes, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and cosmology.

Delivery Method





After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the sky above
  • Identify and explain radiation and spectra
  • Identify and describe astronomical instruments
  • Describe the Sun's nuclear fusion processes and explain the methods of energy transport
  • Explain the aspects of starlight such as how to determine magnitudes and colours of the stars
  • Describe the different types of stars in the Galaxy
  • Explain how to determine distances, masses and sizes of stars
  • Describe stellar evolution from birth to death, black holes, and the Milky Way galaxy
  • Describe other types of galaxies and aspects of cosmology

Course Outline

Unit 1: Beginning the Cosmic Journey

Unit 2: The Nature of Gravity and Light

Unit 3: The sun and Other Stars

Unit 4: The Life and Death of Stars

Unit 5: Galaxies and Cosmology

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

  1. Seeds, M., & Backman, D. Stars and Galaxies . 9th ed. Boston, MA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2016.
    Type: ISBN : 978-1-305-12078-5
  1. Johnson, G. Miss Leavitt's stars: The untold story of the woman who discovered how to measure the universe. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 2006.
    Type: ISBN: 978-0-393-32856-1

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 when starting the 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%
Final Exam* 40%
Total 100%