Astronomy

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  • CAS AS 100: Cosmic Controversies
    The goal of this course is to understand our place in the physical universe by examining three recent concepts that have revolutionized cosmic awareness. The observations that led to the proposals of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, the re- classification of Pluto to non-planet status, and the discovery of many planets orbiting other stars within life-sustaining regions called Habitable Zones radically change the human perspectives on origins and life. In each case, the roles of evidence, validation and conclusions are used to enhance students capabilities and skills needed for our modern age. Carries natural science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • 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. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS AS 105: Alien Worlds
    Examination of planets in other star systems and comparison with planets in our solar system. Study the historical context of planetary astrophysics and changes in our understanding of planetary formation and evolution. Explore the possibility of life on other worlds. Carries natural science divisional credit (without lab) in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Scientific Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AS 107: Life Beyond Earth: A Consideration of Extraterrestrial Civilizations
    About 10% of the planets in our Milky Way galaxy are like Earth in size and material composition. The same physical laws operate everywhere so extraterrestrial life may be both common and technologically advanced. Where is Everybody? Carries natural science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
  • 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 in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AS 202: Principles of Astronomy I
    Undergraduate Corequisites: CAS MA 123.
    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. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AS 203: Principles of Astronomy II
    Undergraduate Corequisites: CAS MA 123.
    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. Effective Spring 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning II, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AS 311: Planetary Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124; and CAS PY 211 or CAS PY 251.
    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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Scientific Inquiry II, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS AS 312: Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 and CAS PY 212 or CAS PY 252.
    Basic physics of radiation; radiative transfer; 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. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning II, Teamwork/Collaboration. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Scientific Inquiry II, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS AS 401: Honors Work in Astronomy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: 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. Four credits for each of two consecutive semesters of the senior year.
  • CAS AS 402: Honors Work in Astronomy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: 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. Four credits for each of two consecutive semesters of the senior year.
  • CAS AS 413: Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS AS 203 ; CAS AS 312 ; CAS PY 355.
    Historical and intellectual developments that led to our current understanding of the universe; galaxies, galaxy clusters and large-scale structure; galaxy formation and evolution; dark matter and dark energy; Hot Big Bang and inflation; foundations of general relativity. (Offered alternate years.) Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS AS 414: Solar and Space Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 355; AND (CASPY212 OR CASPY252)
    The historical development of solar and space physics. Solar system plasma physics. The Sun, solar magnetic field, solar activity, and solar wind. Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere. Magnetic storms and space weather. Research project relevant to solar and space physics. Oral and/or signed presentation on research project. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS AS 441: Observational Astronomy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS AS 312; First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Astronomical techniques. Photometry, spectroscopy, imaging, polarimetry and interferometry. Statistical methods for data reduction and analysis. Technical writing and oral/signed presentation. Strong laboratory component. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • 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.