ASTR 181: Stellar Astronomy

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3
A survey of modern stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy, with emphasis on the underlying physical principles. Topics covered include stellar structure, interstellar environments and the formation of stars, stellar evolution and death, the structures of galaxies, and cosmology. Intended for science majors and prospective science teachers. The student should have a good operational familiarity with high school algebra.
Course Outcomes
  • Outline the development of stellar astronomy from ancient times to present and explain the role of the scientific method in this historic context.
  • Identify the appropriate instruments used by astronomers to understand the universe and describe the nature of electromagnetic radiation and its role in deciphering the mysteries of stellar astronomy.
  • Describe the physical and chemical nature of stars, and especially our sun, and apply the astronomical techniques used to measure stellar properties.
  • Outline the evolutionary stages in a star’s life, including the role of the interstellar medium.
  • Compare and contrast the structure of our Milky Way and other galaxies.
  • Outline and appraise the leading cosmological theories of the origin of the universe.
  • Apply astronomical concepts to the search for extraterrestrial life.