Astronomy Syllabus

Below, you will find the suggested course syllabus. The days are not meant to be followed exactly, but serve more to give a sense of direction and sequence. Some parts of the course may take longer than others, so please use this page to keep you from getting lost and to build upon a foundation of knowledge that I believe will serve you best in your studies. The background photo is the famous 1996 Hubble Space Telescope "Deep Field" that depicts galaxies almost beyond comprehension.

UNIT ONE: INTRODUCTION

MATERIAL COVERED IN THE UNIT

WORK DONE BY YOU

Day 1 = September 3

Prologue, Introduction, Teacher Bio, Course Units

Getting to know you

UNIT TWO: THE STARRY SKY

Introduction to the Night Sky, Tour of the Universe, Units of Measurements

 

Day 2-3 = September 4

Celestial objects and constellations of the season

 

Day 2-3 = September 5

Orientation to the celestial sphere

First Constellation Observation, Star Charts

UNIT THREE: HISTORY

Introduction to the History of Astronomy

 

Day 4 = September 6

Archaeoastronomy

 

Day 5 = September 9

Ancient Astronomy

Write your own myth

Day 6 = September 10

Greek Astronomy

Ancient History Quiz

Day 7 = September 11

Protestant Reformation and the Copernican Revolution

Copernican Revolution Quiz

Day 8 = September 12

Completing the Revolution

Grad Standard Paper

UNIT FOUR: LIGHT AND TELESCOPES

Introduction to Light and Telescopes

 

Day 9 = September 13

Electromagnetic Spectrum, Measuring Starlight and Distances

 

Day 10 = September 16

Telescopes - Refracting, Reflecting, Radio, Space, Getting Your Own

 

Day 11 = September 17

Helping someone buy a telescope

Star Observation, Star Charts

Day 12 = September 18

Parallax (to be added to course at a future date)

Parallax Lab

UNIT FIVE: EXPLORATION OF SPACE

Introduction to Space Exploration

 

Day 13 = September 19

The space race

 

Day 14 = September 20

Satellite exploration of space

Exploration Quiz

UNIT SIX: EARTH AND MOON

Introduction to Our Home Planet

 

Day 15 = September 23

Our place in space

Scale model of the solar system

Day 16 = September 24

The Earth ...Introduction, facts, structure and origin

 

Day 17 = September 25

The Earth ... tectonics, mountain building, and rock cycle

 

Day 18 = September 26

The Earth ... atmosphere, weather, and seasons

Earth quiz

Day 19 = September 27

The Moon ... Introduction, structure and features

Moon Observation

Day 20 = September 30

The Moon ... phases

Moon Phases Worksheet

Day 21 = October 1

The Moon ... tides and eclipses

Stranded on the Moon

Day 22 = October 2

The Moon ... origin theories

Origins Quiz

Day 23 = October 3

The Moon ... why are all the craters round

Cratering Lab

UNIT SEVEN: SOLAR SYSTEM

Introduction to the other Sun 's Planets

 

Day 24 = October 4

Inner Rocky Worlds ... Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars

Mars crater lab

Day 25 = October 7

Outer Gas Giants ... Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Voyager Mission Recount

Voyager Quiz and Commentary

Day 26 = October 8

Icy Worlds ... Pluto, Tenth Planet?

Measuring diameter of Pluto

Day 27 = October 9

Comets and Asteroids

 

Day 28 = October 10

Extrasolar Planets

Planet Quiz

UNIT EIGHT: THE SUN

Introduction to the Sun

 

Day 29 = October 11

Sun structure and facts

Sun Observation

Day 30 = October 14

Thermonuclear fusion powers the sun

 

Day 31 = October 15

Solar events ... sun spots and flares

 

Day 32 = October 16

The Sun's spectrum ... developing the HR Diagram

Stellar spectra comparisons

Day 33 = October 17

The Sun's lifecycle

Sun Quiz

UNIT NINE: STARS

Introduction to Stars, Stellar Spectra, Star Lifecycles

 

Day 34 = October 18

Main Sequence Dwarfs, Faintest and Coolest

 

Day 35 = October 21

Largest, Brightest, Hottest

AAVSO Lab

Day 36 = October 22

Supernovae, Smallest

Star Quiz

Day 37 = October 23

Supernova 1987A

SN1987A lab

UNIT TEN: GALAXIES

Introduction to Galaxies

 

Day 38 = October 24

The Milky Way

 

Day 39 = October 25

Hubble discovers red-shifts

 

Day 40 = October 28

Hubble Deep Field & galaxy types

Hubble Deep Field Lab

Day 41 = October 29

Star formation in galaxies

 

UNIT ELEVEN: COSMOLOGY

Introduction to Cosmology

 

Day 42 = October 30

The Big Bang

Final Constellation Observation

Day 43 = October 31

The End of the Universe

Cosmology Paper

UNIT TWELVE: SETI

Introduction to ET

 

Day 44 = November 1

Extraterrestrial visitors to earth and SETI

SETI opportunity

Day 45 = November 4

Roadblocks to development of intelligent life

 

Day 46 = November 5

Final comments

Final paper

 

 

 

Chat Lessons

Chat Homepage

 



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