Astronomy Undergraduate Courses • Fall 2016

  • Many of the most important scientific breakthroughs in history have dramatically reshaped humankind’s understanding of our place in the universe.  Examples include the Copernican revolution, evolution by natural selection, the Big Bang theory of the origin and evolution of the universe, and the molecular and genetic basis of evolution.  In addition to their intrinsic scientific importance, these ideas also have…


  • Introduction to General Astronomy

    Astronomy 10

    CCN: 13408

    Instructor: Alex Filippenko

     A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department.


  • Introduction to Astrophysics

    Astro 7A

    CCN: 13408

    Instructor: Mariska Kriek

    This is the first part of an overview of astrophysics, with an emphasis on the way in which physics is applied to astronomy. We will start with an introduction to astronomy, and learn how astronomers observe the night sky and measure the radiation, velocities, and distances of stars. We will interpret the observations of stars in terms of physical properties,…


  • In this course, students undertake several inquiry-based lab experiments to acquire the bases of observational optical astronomy. The experiments, which build on theoretical knowledge obtained in previous classes and include the measurement of the Earth-Sun distance and the detection of an extrasolar planet, provide the students with a first introduction to the methodology of professional research. The skills that are…


  • Stellar Physics

    Astro 160

    CCN: 13221

    Instructor: Eliot Quataert

    Stars are the building blocks of galaxies and play a central role in the evolution of structure in the universe, in the nucleosynthesis of most elements, in the formation of compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), and as tools for measuring cosmological distances (e.g., Cepheids and Type 1a SN).  This course will cover the observations and physics…


  • Planetary Astrophysics

    Astro C162 | Earth and Planetary Science C162

    CCN: 13377

    Instructor: Imke de Pater

    Physics of planetary systems, both solar and extra-solar. Star and planet formation, radioactive dating, small-body dynamics and interaction of radiation with matter, tides, planetary interiors, atmospheres, and magnetospheres. High-quality oral presentations may be required in addition to problem sets and a final exam.