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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Woodruff T Sullivan
ASTR 190
Seattle Campus

Modern Topics in Astronomy for Non-Science Majors

Topics of current interest, such as origin of chemical elements, novae and supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, active galaxies, quasars, or interstellar medium and astrochemistry. Choice of topics depends on instructor and class interest. Prerequisite: either one 100- or one 200-level ASTR course.

Class description


ASTR 190 in Winter 2007 will be on the topic of "OUR PLACE IN THE COSMOS," by which is meant how we have developed and continue to develop our sense of a cosmic place in the early 21st century. The phrase "Cosmic place" refers first of all to our physical location - on the surface of the Earth, on a planet in the solar system, near a star (the Sun) in the Milky Way galaxy, and in our Galaxy in an expanding Universe."Cosmic place" also refers to our "psychological/philosophical" location - how we think of ourselves as a technical civilization, as a species, as a form of life based on carbon, water, and DNA. The course will be a mixture of history of astronomy, current astronomy and cosmology, and astrobiology ("life in the universe").

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

lecture, discussion

Recommended preparation

one previous Astronomy course will help, but is not necessary

Class assignments and grading

reading, one book report, sky observations exercises, term paper (no midterms or final exam)

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Woodruff T Sullivan
Date: 10/30/2006