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ASTR& 101 Introduction to Astronomy • 6 Cr.




A general, non-math survey of topics in astronomy, including history, solar system, stars, galaxies and cosmology. Includes a weekly lab. Either ASTR& 100 (prev ASTR 101) or ASTR& 101 (ASTR 105) may be taken for credit, not both.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the historical contributions of Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein to the development of astronomy
  • Identify the following: “celestial sphere” imaginary lines and points: zenith, celestial pole, celestial equator, altitude, azimuth, right ascension and declination.
  • Explain the special arrangement of the sun, moon, and earth to explain lunar phases, and both solar and lunar eclipses.
  • Compare and contrast Newton’s view of gravity with Einstein’s
  • Explain the basic makeup of the Bohr model of the atom
  • Explain the basic function of telescopes and classify telescopes in terms of refractor vs. reflector
  • Name the several characteristics unique to each planet in the solar system.
  • Compare and contrast the theories for the origin of Earth’s moon.
  • Describe the formation of the solar system
  • Relate the various ways stars die to the star’s mass.
  • Explain the relationship between the interior layers of the sun in relation to the creation/transfer of energy
  • Explain the processes by which astronomers measure stars’ mass, temperature, size, distance, chemical makeup, and speeds.
  • Compare and contrast Terrestrial versus Jovian planets
  • Describe the origin and nature of white dwarf stars, neutron stars, and black holes.
  • Compare and contrast asteroids and comets as members of the solar system
  • Identify the relationships between moons, planets, stars, the solar system, the Milky way, galaxies, and the Universe.
  • Describe the Hubble law and relate its significance to the understanding of the Universe.
  • Explain the evidence for the Big bang.
  • Compare and contrast the open, closed, and flat Universe theories, and explain the current state of evidence for these theories.
  • Explain the problems with the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence and the current status of this search..



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Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000