This introductory course emphasizes observational aspects of astronomy. Students will learn about our place in the universe, always addressing the issue of “How do we know what we know?” Topics include the relationship between the earth and the sky, short term and long term cycles in the celestial sphere, the exploration of the solar system, light, telescopes, and stellar evolution cycles. Practical work will be done using portable telescopes on campus and using the Northern Skies Observatory (NSO), located in Peacham, Vermont. Students will make use of the robotic capabilities of the NSO to make their own research grade observations and measurements. Professional imaging processing software will be used extensively.
Students will be expected to attend at least one night-time observing session during the semester.
Prerequisite: Physics: Systems of Matter, Motion, and Energy