Humans have always looked to the sky and wondered. What are the sun, moon, planets, and stars? How big? How far? How old? How do they impact our lives? Are we alone? The story of how we answered most of these questions and posed new questions to explore describes one of humanity’s greatest adventures. More than any other endeavor, astronomy established science as the human invention most useful for understanding the natural world and our place in it. This course is a guided tour through the universe. Throughout the course, the nature of the scientific enterprise will be the integrating theme.
Field ClassCountry: Namibia
Day: 1 - Thursday, 02 April
As one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries and driest climates, Namibia offers some of the best night-time observing conditions on the planet. Students will travel to a dark sky location and have a chance to study the southern sky. They will see the Milky Way in all its glorious detail as well as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds…our nearest neighboring galaxies that aren’t visible from North America. Academic Objectives: 1. Gain familiarization of the southern sky’s constellations 2. Study the features of the moon through binoculars 3. Appreciate dark skies away from light pollution