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Astronomy 202: Exploration Of The Solar System

Course Outline


Overview: Celestial sphere, phases of the moon, seasons, eclipses,

timekeeping, calendar, celestial coordinates, constellations, GPS, navigation

The science of astronomy: Copernicus principle, Kepler’s laws, matter and energy,

Newton’s laws of motion, gravity, orbital motion, tides

Physics of light: atoms and radiation, spectral lines, Doppler effect, relativity, optics and telescopes, invisible light

Planetary system: planets, asteroids, comets, formation

Planetary geology: geologic processes, surfaces and interiors, moon, Mars, Earth

Planetary atmospheres: structure, magnetosphere, weather and climate, history of mercury, moon, mars, venus

Specifics:   Earth, Mars, Jovian planets, Pluto, asteroids and comets

The Sun

Life on Earth



Lectures M W F 10:00 - 10:50 AM

Homework (30%) ten assignments

2 In-Class Tests (50%)

2 Topical Papers (10%)

1 Web/Observing Project (10%)

Text: Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit, The cosmic perspective

Other resources: www.masteringastronomy.com


All information is representative only, and is likely to change from year to year.