Undergraduate Courses for Science Majors

Courses Intended Primarily for Science Majors:

 

CAS AS 202: Principles of Astronomy I

Introduction of astronomical observing. The night sky; observing with telescopes; light and optics; spectra and spectroscopy; birth of modern astronomy; theory of orbital motion; overview of the solar system; extra solar system planets.

  • Lectures and Night Laboratory use of the J.B. Coit rooftop observatory.
  • Carries Divisional Studies Credit in the Natural Sciences
  • Carries Divisional Studies Credit as a Laboratory Science
  • Primarily for students concentrating in the sciences.

Professors Oppenheim and Withers. 4 cr. Fall.

Sample syllabus:  Oppenheim – Fall 2013

 

CAS AS 203: Principles of Astronomy II

The celestial sphere; time and calendars; astronomical instruments and techniques; properties of stars; stellar evolution; the Milky Way galaxy; galaxies and quasars.

  • Lectures and Night Laboratory use of the J.B. Coit rooftop observatory and astronomical photographic darkroom.
  • Carries Divisional Studies Credit in the Natural Sciences
  • Carries Divisional Studies Credit as a Laboratory Science
  • Primarily for students concentrating in the sciences.

Professor Blanton. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabus:  Blanton – Spring 2014

 

CAS AS 311: Planetary Physics

Prerequisites:

CAS MA 124, CAS PY 212 or 252. Celestial Mechanics; atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors of the planets and their satellites; minor constituents of the solar system; the interplanetary medium; the sun and solar activity; theories of the formation and evolution of the solar system.

Professors Hughes and Clarke. 4 cr. Fall.

Sample syllabi:  Clarke – Fall 2012, Hughes – Fall 2013

 

CAS AS 312: Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics

Prerequisites:

CAS MA 124, CAS PY 212 or 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.

Professors Bania, Blanton, Brainerd, and Clemens. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabus:  Bania – Spring 2014

 

CAS AS 401, 402: Honors Work in Astronomy

Prerequisite:

Consent of Instructor and Approval of Honors Committee in CAS Academic Advising Office (CAS 105).

  • 4 Credits for each of two consecutive semesters of the Senior year.

Staff. 4 cr.
 

CAS AS 413: Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology

Prerequisites:

CAS AS 312, PY 355. 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.

Professors Brainerd and Jackson. 4 cr. Fall of even numbered years.

Sample syllabus:  Brainerd – Fall 2012

 

CAS AS 414: Solar and Space Physics

Prerequisites:

CAS PY 355 or equivalent and CAS PY 212 or 252. 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.

Professors Fritz, Hughes, and Oppenheim. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabi:  Fritz – Spring 2014

 

CAS AS 441: Observational Astronomy

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.

Professors Clarke and Clemens. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabi:  Clarke – Spring 2014

 

CAS AS 491, 492: Directed Studies in Astronomy

Prerequisite:

Consent of Instructor and approval by the CAS Academic Advising Office (CAS 105). Devoted to an intensive study of a particular aspect of astronomy, often working with a member of the faculty on a specific research project.

Staff. 1 to 4 cr.