AST Astronomy Courses
Undergraduate seminar that focuses on specific ideas, questions, phenomena or controversies, taught by a regular Faculty member deeply engaged in the discipline. Open only to newly admitted first year students. It may serve as a distribution requirement course; see page 40.
How simple naked-eye observations can lead to a basic understanding of many solar system phenomena. Planets and comets: their motions and properties. Finding out about the sun and nearby stars.
The origin of the Universe, the origin of the chemical elements, the origin of stars and galaxies, the origin of life in the Universe. This course is intended for students who are enrolling in science courses.
How astronomers develop methods for determining the properties of remote stars and galaxies, including their life histories. Methods used to study the Universe as a whole. This course is intended for students with no science or engineering background.
The history of Western astronomy: Copernican Revolution to twentieth century astrophysics. Emphasis is placed on the process of discovery which has led to major advances in knowledge about the Universe. The course ends with an outline of one of the most significant puzzles of our day and an examination of the potential for a new revolution in knowledge in our lifetime.
Scholarly discussion of the probability that there are planets with life elsewhere in the universe, from the perspective of current ideas concerning the origin and evolution of the universe, the solar system and life. Discussion of search techniques and possibilities for interstellar travel and space colonies.
Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. See page 40 for details.
The formation, equilibrium and evolution of structure on all astronomical scales from the largest to the smallest: universe, clusters of galaxies, galaxies, clusters of stars, gas clouds and stars.
Experimental projects in astrophysics involving work with telescopes and data reduction with computers. Astronomical coordinate systems and time. Students are expected to write simple computer programs for some of the assignments.
An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. See page 40 for details.
Discussion of topics of current interest in astrophysics. Possible topics include accretion disk physics, compact object physics, spiral structure in galaxies, dark matter physics, black-body physics.
A research report by the student in consultation with an individual staff member in the Department. This course is intended for students in the final year of the Astronomy and Physics specialist program. Students must enrol with the Undergraduate Secretary of the Department.
(See “Computer Science”)
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