This course is an introduction to astronomy for non-science majors. Topics covered include the apparent motions and changes seen in the night sky, light and telescopes, bodies in the solar system, the properties and evolution of stars (including the sun), and the origin and structure of the universe. A basic understanding of high school algebra is assumed.
- High school Algebra
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Distinguish between the different apparent and actual motions of objects visible in the night sky.
- Explain how light behaves and telescopes function.
- Compare and contrast the members of the solar system and classify them by their important properties.
- Describe the basic structure and workings of the sun, and apply that understanding to stars in general (including their properties and evolution).
- Distinguish between the various components and structures found in the Milky Way and compare and contrast our galaxy with others.
- Explain the overall structure, origin, and potential fate of the universe, utilizing both theoretical and observational evidence.
- Summarize current scientific understanding of the origin of life on earth and the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the universe.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (10 points each; two each week)
Homework (40 points each; one set of questions each week)
Capstone Project (100 points including: participation in Capstone Discussion Board forums [total of 20 points]
and the video presentation [80 points], due by the end of Week 12)
The textbook for this course is an ebook available through OpenStax at no cost to students: Fraknoi, Andrew et al. Astronomy
If students would like a print copy, there will be a fee through Amazon but a print copy is not required.
|Week||SLOs||Readings and Exercises||Assignments|
|Our Place in the Universe|
|Light and Telescopes|
|Introduction to Earth and the Solar System|
|Origin of the Solar System|
|Properties of Stars|
|Between the Stars|
|Evolution of Stars|
|Deaths of Stars|
|Milky Way and Other Galaxies|
|Evolution of Galaxies|
|Origin of the Universe (and Life in it)|
* Open Educational Resources (OER) are openly licensed, educational resources that can be used for teaching, learning and research. OER may consist of a variety of resources such as textbooks, videos and software that are at little or no cost for students.
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.