Descriptive Astronomy, ASTRO 10, Fall 2008
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College of Science/Physics and Astronomy
ASTRO 101, Modern Astronomy, Section 3, Spring 2010
Dr. Olenka Hubickyj
(408) 924 – 5256
MTWThF 9:00 am – 10 am
MWTh 3:00 pm – 4 pm
TTh 1:30pm – 2:45pm
Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper
division standing, and a college physical science course
GE/SJSU Studies Category:
Faculty Web Page and MYSJSU Messaging
Copies of the course materials such as the syllabus, major assignment handouts, etc. may be found on my faculty
web) accessible: www.sjsu.edu/people/olenka.hubickyjcabot.
This course is a general introduction to our present understanding of the origin and evolution of stars, galaxies and
the cosmos. The course material will be principally a non-mathematical discussion of current scientific observational
and theoretical models. We will focus on how the scientific method has been used to form our present
understanding, and we will spend some time discussing how science is actually carried out. We will also review the
physical laws that are at work throughout the Universe. Although many facts will be presented, the course objectives
rather than to memorize facts. We will focus on these topics:
1) Brief historical background, the scientific method, and basic physical laws.
2) The techniques used in modern astronomy, including the use of spectroscopy, telescopes, CCDs, and computers.
3) The formation of stars, the Sun, and their planetary systems.
4) The formation and evolution of stars.
5) The structure and nature of galaxies and how they contribute to our knowledge of the Big Bang and the Universe
6) Current events in astronomy will be included when the topics are discussed, including details of my own
research in planetary science. The news is full of the latest astronomical results, and we will discuss new
discoveries as they arise. I encourage you to read the news (the newspaper or online), and bring up in class
topics you find interesting!
Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives
During this course:
Students will learn to
distinguish science from pseudo-science