ASTR 10B: GENERAL ASTRONOMY: STARS, GALAXIES, COSMOLOGY
Foothill College Course Outline of Record
|5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
|Concurrent enrollment in ASTR 10L; not open to students with credit in ASTR 10BH.
|Degree & Credit Status:
|Degree-Applicable Credit Course
|Area III: Natural Sciences
|Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Student Learning Outcomes
- Understand the position of the Earth in the universe at large and the arrangement and scale of matter the universe.
- Understand the life story of the stars and be able to explain how that life story relates to their own lives.
The student will be able to:
A. demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and how it applies to astronomy;
B. describe the evolution of stars from birth to death and discuss how this evolution relates to their own lives on the Earth;
C. demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the scales of time and distance in the cosmos and what scientific evidence we have for these scales;
D. explain our modern understanding of the large scale structure and evolution of the universe of galaxies (including the expansion of the universe), and what the observational evidence is that underlies them;
E. understand the role of different types of telescopes and detectors in making astronomical observations;
F. describe the challenges women and people of color in astronomy have faced in the past, and describe how the situation is changing.
A. Grand Tour of the Universe
1. Definitions of basic astronomy terms
B. The Nature of Science and the Scientific Method
C. How Do We Get Information about the Universe
1. Electromagnetic radiation
2. Atoms and spectra
3. How we use radiation to understand the characteristics of cosmic objects (including the Doppler Shift)
4. Telescopes and detectors
D. The Life Stories of the Stars
1. Star formation and protostars
2. Energy mechanisms in stars (nuclear fusion)
3. H-R Diagrams, the Main Sequence, and stellar lifetimes
4. Post-Main Sequence evolution in low mass stars
5. Post-Main Sequence evolution in high mass stars
6. Endpoints in stellar evolution: white dwarfs, neutron stars, supernovae
7. Introduction to General Relativity and black holes
E. The Milky Way Galaxy: Its Contents and Structure
1. Methods of measuring distances in astronomy
2. Experiments to detect the presence of dark matter
3. Galactic and globular clusters
4. Extra-solar planets and how we detect them
5. The structure and contents of the Milky Way
F. Other Galaxies
1. Normal galaxies and galaxy types
2. Active galaxies and quasars
3. Observational evidence for supermassive black holes
4. The large scale structure of the universe
1. Hubble's Law and the expanding universe: theory and observations
2. The Big Bang model
3. The ultimate fate of the universe: different scenarios
4. Observational tests of cosmology
H. Cosmic Evolution: Summing Up
Special Facilities and/or Equipment
B. A large classroom with good audio-visual equipment.
Method(s) of Evaluation
B. A midterm
C. Comprehensive final exam
D. Cooperative group activities
E. A term paper may or may not be required
Method(s) of Instruction
C. Cooperative learning exercises
Representative Text(s) and Other Materials
Fraknoi, A., D. Morrison, and S. Wolff. Astronomy. 1st ed. OpenStax Publishing, 2016.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments
A. Reading Assignment Example:
1. Each topic in the course has assigned reading in the textbook related to that topic. Each week students are given specific sections of the textbook which they need to read.
B. Writing Assignment Examples:
1. Each class collaborative group activity requires writing answers from the group.
2. Eight out of the 11 weeks there is a written homework assignment from the textbook.
3. Midterm has essay questions on two different topics.