• Introduction to Current Research

    ASTRON 290A

    CCN: 22710

    Instructor: Eugene Chiang

    Study of a research topic with an individual staff member.


  • Cosmology


    CCN: 22711

    Instructor: Martin White

    Weekly seminar on research in cosmology, typically featuring outside speakers.


  • Seminar

    292, section 008

    CCN: 15306

    Instructor: Paul Kalas

    In addition to the weekly colloquium, the Department offers seminars in advanced topics, several of which are announced at the beginning of each semester. A maximum of 5 units may be taken per semester with a limitation of 2 in any one section.


  • Planetary Science Seminar

    ASTRON C292

    CCN: 21210

    Instructor: Burkhard Militzer

    The departments of Astronomy and Earth and Planetary Science offer a joint research seminar in advanced topics in planetary science, featuring speakers drawn from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and visiting scholars. Topics will span planetary interiors; surface morphology; atmospheres; dynamics; planet formation; and astrobiology. Speakers will vary from semester to semester. Meetings will be held once a week for…


  • This course provides a sweeping overview of our understanding of the Universe, from our own Solar System, and planets around other stars, to black holes, distant galaxies, the Big Bang and more exotic topics like the Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Gravitational Waves. We will also address the question of whether life can arise elsewhere in the Universe than on…


  • This course will cover our modern scientific understanding of origins, from the Big Bang to the formation of planets like Earth, evolution by natural selection, the genetic basis of evolution, and the emergence of humans. These ideas are of great intrinsic scientific importance and also have far reaching implications for other aspects of people's lives (e.g., philosophical, religious, and political).…


  • Solar System Astrophysics

    Astron C249

    CCN: 26058

    Instructor: Courtney Dressing

    The physical foundations of planetary sciences. Topics include planetary interiors and surfaces, planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres, and smaller bodies in our solar system. The physical processes at work are developed in some detail, and an evolutionary picture for our solar system, and each class of objects, is developed. Some discussion of other (potential) planetary systems is also included.


  • This course features 3 data-centric laboratory experiments that draw on a variety of tools used by professional astronomers. Students will learn to procure and clean data (drawn from a variety of world-class astronomical facilities), assess the fidelity/quality of data, build and apply models to describe data, learn statistical and computational techniques to analyze data (e.g., Bayesian inference, machine learning, parallel…


  • This is the second part of an overview of astrophysics, which begins with 7A. This course covers the Milky Way galaxy, star formation and the interstellar medium, galaxies, black holes, quasars, dark matter, the expansion of the universe and its large-scale structure, and cosmology and the Big Bang. The physics in this course includes that used in 7A (mechanics and…


  • A tour of the mysteries and inner workings of our solar system. What are planets made of? Why do they orbit the sun the way they do? How do planets form, and what are they made of? Why do some bizarre moons have oceans, volcanoes, and ice floes? What makes the Earth hospitable for life? Is the Earth a common…