PHYS 121 - Foundations of Astronomy

A study of the Earth and heavenly bodies, their observed characteristics and motions, and the theories that account for them. The course is designed to give students an understanding of the tools and fundamental physical concepts of astronomy. Topics covered include celestial timekeeping, gravity, orbits, light, the birth and evolution of stars, black holes and other compact objects, dark matter, dark energy, and the big bang theory. Use is made of the Wible Planetarium and the Newton Observatory telescopes. Students must participate in an evening observing session at some point during the semester. Corequisite: MATH*157, MATH*159, or equivalent (placement into MATH 160 is sufficient). NOTE: Students may receive credit for only one course from among PHYS*020, PHYS*121, and PHYS*129. This course may NOT be counted as a laboratory course for the Natural Science distribution requirement for students who matriculated before Fall 2016. Prerequisites: MATH*157 or MATH*159, or equivalent (placement into MATH*160 is sufficient).
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