Upon completion of the course, students will be able to do the following:
1. Review ancient cosmologies and trace the development of astronomy from antiquity, through the Renaissance to modern times.
2. Recognize the basic physical processes operating in the astronomical environment, and apply the basic laws and equations of physics to explain the workings of the universe on the grandest scales.
3. Discuss the properties of a telescope and the important features of telescope (ground and space-based) design, as related to the various wavelengths (e.g. x-ray, UV, optical, IR, radio) in the electromagnetic spectrum.
4. Describe the general plan of the solar system, and discuss the properties (interior, surface, and atmosphere) of solar system bodies including the sun, planets, satellites, and minor members (comets, asteroids, and meteorites).
5. Recognize the appearance of the night sky, accounting for any diurnal, seasonal, annual, and secular changes.
6. Describe the various techniques used by astronomers to determine the distance to and the size, mass, motion, composition, age, and other important parameters of astronomical objects (e.g. planets, stars, galaxies, etc.).
7. Discuss the life cycle of a star from birth in nebulae as (protostars) through "main sequence" middle age, to death (degenerate stars, supernovae, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes).
8. Discuss the basic properties, structure, and evolution of galaxies, and compare quasars to the active, peculiar galaxies.
9. Describe the large scale structure of the universe and assess the various cosmological models (e.g. the "big bang").
10. Retrace the origin of life on earth, and describe efforts in the search for life elsewhere in the universe.
11. Solve a few basic quantitative problems dealing with various aspects of the course material (e.g. estimate relative distances to and motions of stars and galaxies, calculate surface temperatures, masses, sizes, luminosities, and ages of stars, etc.).