• MET AS 101: The Solar System
    One of the great achievements of modern science is to understand where we are in space and time. Since the 1920's, we have known our cosmic address in the Milky Way galaxy, and from the 1930's on we have been refining our understanding of where we are in the history of the universe. This perspective has been hard-won, through persistent questioning, observation and creative thinking, and its historical development parallels the development of the process of science. It has also led to our present efforts to understand the origin and evolution of life as well as the future of our planet and the very existence of humanity. Since the 1970's, we have been enjoying a remarkable period of solar system exploration. We have landed on and flown by worlds both nearby and far away allowing us to download maps of other solar system objects onto our hand-held devices. With new, larger telescopes, we have discovered new planetary systems, new classes of objects in our solar system and even revised the definition of the word planet. Most profoundly of all, we are actively searching for life elsewhere in our solar system. In this course we will examine how we came to our present understanding of our place in the universe and the recent discoveries that are making solar system science so exciting.
  • MET 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.