Undergraduate Courses

Science Majors

Primarily intended for students concentrating in one of the natural sciences.

To see which courses are being offered Spring 2017, click here.

Co-requisites:

CAS MA 123 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.

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

Professors Muirhead, Oppenheim, and Withers. 4 cr. Fall.

Sample syllabi: Withers – Fall2016 Muirhead – Fall 2014

Co-requisites:

CAS MA 123 The celestial sphere; time and calendars; astronomical instruments and techniques; properties of stars; stellar evolution; the Milky Way galaxy; galaxies and quasars.

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

Professors Blanton and Espaillat. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabi: Espaillat – Spring 2015 Blanton – Spring 2017


Prerequisites:

CAS MA 124 and 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 Clarke and Hughes. 4 cr. Fall.

Sample syllabus:  Hughes – Fall 2016

Prerequisites:

CAS MA 124 and 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 2017


Prerequisite:

Consent of Instructor and approval of Honors Proposal by both the Astronomy Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Department Chair. Directed Research culminating in a senior thesis. Requirement for Honors in Astronomy.

  • 4 credits for each of two consecutive semesters of the Senior year

Staff. 4 cr.

Guidelines:  Honors in Astronomy

Prerequisites:

CAS AS 312 and 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 2016

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 Hughes, Martinis, Opher, and Oppenheim. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabus:  Fritz – Spring 2014 Opher – Spring 2016

Prerequisite:

CAS AS 312. Astronomical techniques. Photometry, spectroscopy, photography, CCD imaging, and interferometry. Statistical methods for data reduction and analysis.

  • Strong laboratory component
  • Use of Astronomy Computer Laboratory

Professors Clarke and Clemens. 4 cr. Spring.

Sample syllabus:   Clemens – Spring 2015 Clarke – Spring 2016

Prerequisite:

Consent of Instructor. 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.