Introduction to Astronomy [CRN 81183]

Discipline: Astronomy
Instructor: Jordan
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1700
End: 1820
Field Work: Day 4 | September 18, 2018 | Spain
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Astronomy can be considered one of the world’s oldest sciences.  Since ancient times, humanity has looked to the night sky for inspiration and tried to make sense of the universe.  In this class, we will explore our modern understanding of the nature of galaxies, stars, and planetary bodies.  The course will also cover the history of how our understanding of the night sky, the objects in it, and Earth’s place in the universe has changed due to scientific enquiry and discovery.  Taking this class during Semester-at-Sea will provide students with a unique opportunity to see the night sky of both the Northern AND Southern hemispheres during the same semester.  In addition, the ship will travel in the open ocean, far from the light pollution so common to the modern world, making it possible to taste the wonder that ancient peoples may have felt as they looked at the night sky.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 4
Date: September 18, 2018

Northeastern Spain is renowned as one of the best astronomical viewing areas in Western Europe. This excursion will give students the opportunity to visit a modern astronomy facility and to do hands-on projects and assignments that will lay the foundation to understand astronomical principles that will be used over the rest of the voyage.

On prior voyages, the astronomy field class has involved students making observations at sea. Such observations will still occur and be an important part of the course. However, this excursion is an opportunity for students to learn astronomy at a unique land-based facility. They will be able to interact with Spanish astronomers and gain understanding in the universal nature of scientific study.

Learning Objectives:
1. Students will learn basic astronomy principles at a modern astronomical facility.
2. Students will gain hands on experience in astronomy principles that will prepare them and give them context for the information they will learn and the experiences that they will have over the length of the voyage.