Astronomy

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  • CAS AS 100: Cosmic Controversies
    From surprise over the need to invoke Dark Matter and Dark Energy, to confusion about Pluto's being reclassified as a non-planet, this course explores how scientists explain our place in the physical universe, by focusing on some of the most current issues in modern astronomy. Topics range from the solar system, to extraterrestrial life, to the fabric of the entire universe. Carries natural science divisional credit (without lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 101: The Solar System
    The historical development of astronomy and the motion of the planets. The formation of the solar system. The sun and its effects on the earth. Description of the planets and the moons of our solar system including recent results from the space program. Use of the observatory. Cannot be taken for credit in addition to CAS AS 105. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 102: The Astronomical Universe
    The birth and death of stars. Red giants, white dwarfs, black holes. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, and other galaxies. The Big Bang and other cosmological theories of our expanding universe. Use of the observatory. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 105: Alien Worlds
    Examination of worlds within and outside our solar system. History of NASA and other space exploration programs. Discovery and properties of hundreds of planets around other stars. Possibility of life on other worlds. Students use telescopes to observe our solar system. Cannot be taken for credit in addition to CAS AS 101. Carries natural science divisional credit (without lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 107: Life Beyond Earth
    About 10% of the planets in our Milky Way galaxy are like Earth in size and material composition. Physical laws covered in this course operate everywhere, so life may be both common and technologically advanced. Where is everybody? (This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to CAS AS 117.)
  • CAS AS 109: Cosmology
    The evolution of cosmological thought from prehistory to the present: Greek astronomy, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein. Motion, gravity, and the nature of space-time. The expanding universe. The early universe and Big Bang. Carries natural science divisional credit (without lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 202: Principles of Astronomy I
    Astronomical observing and the night sky; optics and telescopes; birth of modern astronomy; atoms, spectra and spectroscopy; planetary motion and orbits; overview of solar system; uses observatory. Intended primarily for astronomy or physics majors. Lectures and laboratories. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 203: Principles of Astronomy II
    Astronomical measurements; time and the celestial sphere; telescopes and observatories; the solar system, orbital motion; comparative planetology; the sun and solar-terrestrial effects; electromagnetic radiation; spectroscopy, stellar properties and stellar evolution; the Milky Way galaxy; galaxies; the universe. Lectures and laboratories. Intended primarily for astronomy or physics concentrators. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS AS 311: Planetary Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 and CAS PY 212 or CAS PY 252.
    Celestial mechanics, tides, resonances. Physical processes that affect atmospheres, surfaces, interiors of planets, and their satellites. Comets, asteroids, meterorites, and Kuiper belt objects. Formation and evolution of the solar system. Extra-solar planets.
  • CAS AS 312: Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 and CAS PY 212 or CAS PY 252.
    Basic physics of radiation; spectral analysis; distances, motions, and physical properties of stars; stellar interiors and atmospheres; stellar evolution; clusters of stars; the interstellar medium; content, structure, and rotation of the Milky Way galaxy.
  • CAS AS 401: Senior Distinction Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: approval of Honors Committee.
  • CAS AS 402: Senior Distinction Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: approval of Honors Committee.
  • CAS AS 413: Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS AS 312 and CAS PY 355; or equivalent.
    Galaxies and galaxy clusters; the extragalactic distance scale and Hubble's Law; quasars and active galactic nuclei; metrics and general relativity; distances and luminosities in cosmology. Origin of the universe: the Big Bang, cosmic background radiation, and inflation. (Offered alternate years.)
  • CAS AS 414: Solar and Space Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 355; AND (CASPY212 OR CASPY252)
    The Sun and Solar Wind: solar magnetic fields, sunspot cycle, active sun, corona. Interaction of the solar wind with planets and comets. Planetary Magnetospheres and Ionospheres. Aeronomy. Solar System plasma physics. Magnetic Storms and Space Weather.
  • CAS AS 441: Observational Astronomy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS AS 312.
    Astronomical techniques. Photometry, spectroscopy, photography, CCD imaging, and interferometry. Statistical methods for data reduction and analysis. Strong laboratory component. Use of computers.
  • CAS AS 491: Directed Studies in Astronomy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor and approval of CAS Academic Advising Office.
    Devoted to an intensive study of a particular aspect of astronomy, often working with a member of the faculty on a specific research project.
  • CAS AS 492: Directed Studies in Astronomy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor and approval of CAS Academic Advising Office.
    Devoted to an intensive study of a particular aspect of astronomy, often working with a member of the faculty on a specific research project.