2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog

PHYS 105 Planets and Stars

PHY 105 Planets and Stars - Three Credits A wealth of information has been collected about our Sun and Solar System, surprising us with the richness and variety of geological environments scattered among the planets and their moons. In-depth studies of the Sun and the planets of our solar system will begin with investigations of Earth - our home planet. Exploration of our Sun, Earth and Solar System involves a variety of tools that scientists use to gain information, generate hypotheses, and draw conclusions about the characteristics and processes in our system and extending into the rest of the Universe. In the process of investigations and discussions in this course, students will gain an awareness of both the power and limitations of scientific inquiry. In the laboratory investigations, students will be introduced to Earth processes and materials, extension of Earth processes/materials to the rest of the Solar System, nighttime live-sky observing, use of star maps, identification of constellations/stars, basic telescope operations, and basic astrophotography. Two hours of lecture and two hours of evening lab each week - However, because of the limited availability of clear skies due to unpredictable weather conditions, the student will need to be somewhat flexible about accomplishing the lab activities, with occasional adjustments necessary to do observations that will extend beyond the scheduled days and hours listed.(Offered Fall Semester Only)