This Course and Program Catalogue is effective from May 2019 to April 2020.

Not all courses described in the Course and Program Catalogue are offered each year. For a list of course offerings in 2019-2020, please consult the class search website.

The following conventions are used for course numbering:

  • 010-099 represent non-degree level courses
  • 100-699 represent undergraduate degree level courses
  • 700-999 represent graduate degree level courses

Course search


14 Results

ASTR 102.3: Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology

Provides an overview of the large scale structure of the universe on a descriptive level. Topics include the structure of our own galaxy, the local group of galaxies, the classification of galaxies, and galaxy clusters. Galactic and extragalactic distance scales are also introduced. Further topics include the energy and matter content of the observable universe, evidence for dark matter and dark energy, and the history of the universe from the big bang to the present epoch. Contemporary experiments and observations in cosmology are also discussed.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 1 Tutorial hours
Formerly: Half of ASTR 101.6
Note(s): Students with credit for ASTR 101.6 may not take this course for credit.


ASTR 104.3: Astronomy of Planets

Students will explore physical properties and orbital behavior of planets, moons, asteroids and comets as revealed by telescopic observations and spacecraft missions. They will learn how the scientific method changed our understanding of orbital motions within the solar system. Recent astronomical techniques for studying exoplanets orbiting other star systems will be investigated. Techniques for operating telescopes and analyzing astronomical data will be examined with online access to computer-simulated laboratories.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 1 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): Foundations of Mathematics 20 or Pre-Calculus 20
Note: Students can take this course to fulfill 3 of the 18 credit units required for the Astronomy Minor offered by the College of Arts and Science in conjunction with the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics.


ASTR 113.3: Descriptive Introduction to Stellar Astronomy

Provides a first introduction to stellar astronomy. Topics include Kepler's laws, basic telescope properties, classification of stars, determination of stellar distances, stellar energy generation, and basic properties of white dwarfs, supernovae, pulsars and black holes.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 1.5 Practicum/Lab hours and 1 Tutorial hours
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): PHYS 115 or GE 124.
Note(s): Students with credit for ASTR 101.6 or ASTR 103.3 may not take this course for credit. This course was historically labeled ASTR 101 and then ASTR 103.


ASTR 213.3: Astronomical Photometry

An introduction to the use of telescopes for photometric studies of variable stars, exoplanets, asteroids and star clusters. Astronomical coordinate systems and techniques for measurement of stellar distances and ages will be discussed. Evening labs will acquaint students with the use of several CCD cameras and telescopes.

Weekly hours: 2 Lecture hours and 4 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): One of ASTR 113, PHYS 115 or 155.
Note: Students with credit for ASTR 212 may not take this course for credit. Offered in 2014-2015, then in alternate years.


ASTR 214.3: Astronomical Spectroscopy

A lab-based introduction to stellar spectral classification, spectroscopic parallax measurement, orbit analysis of spectroscopic binaries, redshift measurements of galaxies and CCD imaging techniques. Students will use telescopes to obtain spectroscopic data and will use digital CCD cameras to image star clusters and nebulae.

Weekly hours: 2 Lecture hours and 4 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): One of ASTR 113, PHYS 115 or 155.
Note: Students with credit for ASTR 212 may not take this course for credit. Offered in 2015-2016, then in alternate years.


ASTR 298.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


ASTR 299.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


ASTR 310.3: Galactic Astronomy and Cosmography

An examination of spiral, elliptical, peculiar and radio galaxies, dark matter, Hubble's law of universal expansion, galactic collisions and cannibalism, quasars and supermassive black holes. The course also investigates Big Bang nucleosynthesis, the age, expansion and future of the universe, space curvature, rival cosmographical theories and the dark sky paradox.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): ASTR 113 or 213 or 214; PHYS 252; MATH 224 or 226 or 238.


ASTR 312.3: Theoretical Models of Stars and Stellar Evolution

An examination of stellar evolution theory in tracking the protostar, main-sequence, red giant, supernova, pulsar and black hole stages in the lives of stars. Students will study physical models of stellar structure, binaries, microquasars, nuclear energy generation and the solar neutrino flux.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): ASTR 113 or ASTR 213 or ASTR 214; PHYS 252; MATH 224 or MATH 226 or MATH 238.


ASTR 398.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


ASTR 399.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


ASTR 411.3: Gravitation and Cosmology

An introduction to general relativity as a theory of gravitation with applications to cosmology. Includes: principles of special and general relativity, tensor calculus in curved spacetime, Einstein's field equations, Schwarzschild solution, experimental tests of general relativity, black holes, standard cosmological models, unresolved cosmological issues, gravitational waves.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 252
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): MATH 331


ASTR 498.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


ASTR 499.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours