About the course
This high school astronomy course is intended to help students discover astronomy through its history as well as to introduce students to the basic concepts of modern astronomy. This course is intended for students who have completed or are taking algebra. The topics covered in this class include the night sky, the history of astronomy, the solar system, stars, black holes, galaxies and quasars, dark matter and dark energy, the Big Bang and possible fates of the Universe, extrasolar planetary systems, and life in the Universe. This course will provide a solid foundation both for college-level astronomy courses and for understanding the relationships between science, faith, and philosophy. This 16-week course consists of two eight-week quarters, the first taking a historical approach and the second taking a systematic approach. Students will be assigned a weekly pre-recorded set of video lectures, reading appropriate for the week, relevant weekly reading questions and astronomy problems, a weekly 1.5-hour live recitation, a quarterly lab experiment, and a final exam.
- To appreciate the wonder and beauty of the Universe and how it works.
- To understand the relationships among history, philosophy, theology, and science and see how they are all intertwined in the study of astronomy.
- To become comfortable and proficient with some of the basic equations used by modern astrophysics.
- To prepare for higher education: become familiar with the terms and concepts of astronomy to the degree necessary for continuing on to a college-level course.
- T.T. Arny - S.E. Schneider, Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy.
- Danielson, D.R., The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking.
- PDFs will be provided of selections from Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and others.