Skagit Valley College logo

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   Intro to Astronomy

 Title Abbreviation:   INTRO TO ASTRONOMY

 Department:    ASTR&

 Course #:    101

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5.5

 CIP:    400601

 EPC:    n/a

 REV:    2017

 Course Description  

A survey of astronomy including the solar system, stellar evolution, galactic structure, and cosmology. Emphasis on recent discoveries, historical and cultural impact of astronomy, application of physical science to astronomical observations, and stargazing. Lab included.


Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or grade of 2.0 or higher in ENGL 099 and MATH 98.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 44

Lab: 22

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Academic Natural Sciences  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks
U of W ASTR 101

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Recognize the historic and cultural significance of astronomy, navigation, and celestial events in a variety of cultures and times, and understand how to replicate basic celestial observations.
  2. Identify bright stars, planets, and constellations and know how their positions vary as a function of hour, season, and location.
  3. Know the similarities and differences among the Earth, its Moon, and the other planets and moons in the Solar System.
  4. Know the theories of gravity and special relativity can be used to model the evolutions of stars, galaxies, and the universe, and recognize the limitations of these models.
  5. Understand some basic ideas on the scientific explanation of the origin and evolution of the universe, and how we can scientifically test these theories.
  6. What we can observe with binoculars or simple telescopes in our local skies that expresses the processes described in points 1 through 5.
  7. Identifies the ways in which cultural expectations, assumptions and beliefs define who we are, how others see us, and influence how others and we perform science.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

4. Community & Cultural Diversity

Definition: Recognizing the value of human communities and cultures from multiple perspectives through a critical understanding of their similarities and differences.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
4.2 Understand, value and respect human differences and commonalities as they relate to issues of race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and culture.

8. Mathematical Reasoning

Definition: Understanding and applying concepts of mathematics and logical reasoning in a variety of contexts, both academic and non-academic.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
8.1 Analyze problems to determine what mathematical principles apply.
8.3 Interpret information and reasoning expressed mathematically (for example in spreadsheets, diagrams, charts, formulas, etc.).
8.4 Communicate mathematical information effectively.

9. Scientific Literacy

Definition: Understanding scientific principles, and analyzing and applying scientific information in a variety of contexts.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
9.1 Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts.
9.2 Demonstrate their understanding of the principles of scientific methods, analysis, and reasoning.
9.3 Analyze, apply, and communicate scientific concepts and principles in context (for example, in technological, personal, and/or professional situations).
9.4 Use scientific concepts and principles to understand the natural world, human behavior and culture, and relationships between humans and the rest of the natural world.

10. Technology

Definition: Understanding the role of technology in society and using technology appropriately and effectively.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
10.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the development and impact of technology in human experience (history, global, and local).
10.3 Use technology appropriate to the context and task to effectively retrieve and manage information, solve problems, and facilitate communication.

Course Contents

  1. Introduction, History/Cultural Impacts
  2. Calendars, Light, Optics
  3. Solar System-Keple's and Newton's Laws, Cosmogeny
  4. Terrestrial Planets and Moon
  5. Jovian Planets, Meteors, Comets
  6. Stars and Stellar Evolution; Fusion reactions
  7. Exotics-dwarfs, pulsars, neutron stars, black holes
  8. Galaxies, Quasars, Hubble's Law
  9. Cosmology-Big Bang Theory, Inflation, Cosmic Background Radiation
  10. Extras: Special and general relativity, SETI, archaeostronomy