Instructor: Linda Khandro


This course provides an introduction to the universe beyond the Earth. We begin with a study of the night sky and the history of the science of astronomy. We then explore the various objects seen in the cosmos including the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the evolution of the universe itself. It is designed to be thorough enough to prepare you for more advance work, while presenting the concepts to non-majors in a way that is meaningful and not overwhelming. We will consider the course a success if you have learned how to think about the universe critically in an organized, logical way, and to have enhanced your appreciation of the sky around us.

(Textbook chapters and outlines vary with different books but the content is the same)

In this course you will learn to

  1. Describe our modern view of the universe; its scale, the objects in it, and our human experience of it.
  2. Describe the processes and cycles of the sky; and recount the early history of astronomy and physics.
  3. Explain how electromagnetic information is obtained and interpreted from distant objects in the universe.
  4. Describe the currently accepted model of the sun; explain the classes of stars and how they are organized.
  5. Illustrate the life cycle of stars from “birth” to “death”.
  6. Explain how mass determines the deaths of massive stars.
  7. Describe the features of our Milky Way galaxy, and the basic features and organization of galaxies beyond.
  8. Discuss the basic ideas of modern cosmology; illustrate the formation of our solar system.
  9. Describe the planets and moons of our solar system.
  10. Describe the outermost objects of the solar system, and discuss the current science of Astrobiology.

Picture of Linda Khandro. Click here for Bio