Astronomy Minor

Catalog Year




Total Credits




Program Requirements


Techniques for observing with the naked eye, binoculars and small telescopes; constellation and star identification; use of star atlases and handbooks; observations of stars, binaries, clusters, nebulae, planets and the sun and moon, etc. Students will also learn how astronomical theories are formulated and tested by observing phenomena in the sky. Evening observing labs required.

Prerequisites: AST 101

Goal Areas: GE-03

The celestial sphere; coordinate systems; sidereal and solar time; diurnal motion; precession; proper motion; refraction; aberration; parallax. Requires a background in trigonometry.

Prerequisites: none

Celestial mechanics; gravitational and tidal forces; stellar motions and parallax; radiation and matter; magnitudes and stellar spectra; binary stars and stellar masses; stellar structure and evolution.

Prerequisites: MATH 121 and PHYS 221 

Stellar endpoints; close binary systems; variable stars; the Milky Way; normal galaxies; galactic evolution; active galaxies and quasars; cosmology.

Prerequisites: AST 215, MATH 122, PHYS 222 

Operating the 0.5 meter telescope; operating the BRC 250 astrograph; learning to install and operate ancillary equipment for both telescopes.

Prerequisites: AST 201 and AST 215, Consent 

Designed for science and engineering students. Calculus-based physics. Covers fluids, thermodynamics, mechanical and sound waves, geometrical optics, physical optics, and modern physics. Lecture only. (Associated laboratory course is PHYS 233.) Pre: MATH 121 with a Cor better; and PHYS 221 with a C or better. MATH 122 must be completed before taking this course or taken concurrently. Spring

Prerequisites: MATH 121 with a “C” or better; and PHYS 221 with a “C” or better