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. 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. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): 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. 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. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): 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. 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. 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
    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. 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
    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: 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 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.