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.
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
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
Required text and materials
- Seeds, M., & Backman, D. (2017). Stars and Galaxies (10th ed.). Boston, MA:
Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
ISBN : 978-1-337-39994-4
Additional Required Reading
- Johnson, G. (2006). Miss Leavitt's stars: The untold story of the woman who discovered how
to measure the universe. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.
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 1a: APOD 1 (NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day)
||Assignment 2a: Space News 1
||Test 1 (Units 1 & 2)
||Assignment 1b: APOD 2
||Assignment 3: Citizen Science Project
||Assignment 2b: Space News 2
||Assignment 4: Book Report and Assignment 4 Quiz
||Test 2 (Units 3 & 4)
||Assignment 1c: APOD 3
||Assignment 5: Observing the Night Sky
Open Learning Faculty Member
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.