Return to all courses

ASTR 1020

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at http://www.gpc.edu/programs/Common-Course-Outlines.
Credit Hours 3
Course Title Stellar And Galactic Astronomy
Prerequisite(s) Exit or exemption from LS Mathematics and exit or exemption from LS reading or all ESL requirements except ENSL 0091
Corequisite(s) None Specified
Catalog Description
The study of the Sun and stars, physical properties and evolution, interstellar matter, star clusters, our galaxy and other galaxies, and the origin of the Universe.

Expected Educational Results
As a result of  completing this course, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the contributions made to astronomy by the following people: Einstein and
Hubble;
2. Describe the properties and causes of the following:
-  Black body curves,
- Spectral lines,
- Doppler shift,
- Electromagnetic spectrum;
3. Describe the structure, internal and atmospheric, and power source of the Sun and relate
these to observed solar phenomena such as granulation, sunspots, and solar flares and
prominences;
4. Understand and interpret the HR Diagram and its related properties: magnitude,
luminosity, temperature, stellar radii, stellar power source, stellar evolution;
5. Compare the life cycles of low and high mass stars from birth to death.  Account for
differing end states;
6. Describe the observations and structure of the Milky Way;  Locate the Sun within the
Milky Way;
7. Classify the types of galaxies found in the universe (elliptical, spiral, barred spiral,
irregular);
8. Describe the leading evolutionary models of the universe and evidence in support of
those models;
9. Read and interpret graphs, schematic pictures, and maps.

General Education Outcomes
This course has primary responsibility for general education outcome number six: Recognize and apply scientific inquiry in a variety of settings. It is intended that the course meet this objective in the following ways:
1. Any science class deals inherently with scientific inquiry, by the nature of the course.  
This, therefore, will be an underlying theme throughout the course.
2. Coverage of the following specific objectives will give direct instruction toward the
general objective: 1, 6, 8, 9.

Course Content
I Light and Matter
Required Topics:
A Inverse-square law
B Doppler effect
C The electromagnetic spectrum
D Black-body radiation laws
E Spectral lines
Recommended Topics
F Light’s wave-like nature
G Light’s particle-like nature

II The Sun
Required Topics
A The Sun in bulk
B The solar interior
C The surface of the Sun
D The solar atmosphere
E The active Sun
F The heart of the Sun
Recommended Topics
G Observations of solar neutrinos

III The Nature of the Stars
Required Topics
A Luminosity and brightness
B Temperature and color
C Stellar spectral types
D The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram
E Stellar mass
F Stellar sizes
Recommended Topics
G The distances to the stars
H Stellar motion

IV The Interstellar Medium
Required Topics
A Interstellar matter
B Emission Nebulae
C Dark dust clouds
D Interstellar molecules
E Star birth
Recommended Topics
F 21-centimeter radiation
G Interstellar extinction and reddening

V Stellar Evolution
Required Topics
A Main sequence evolution
B Red giant stars
C The death of a low mass star
D Planetary nebulae
E White dwarf stars
Recommended Topics
F Observing stellar evolution in star clusters
G Evolution of binary star systems
H Pulsating variables

VI Evolution of High-Mass Stars
Required Topics
A The death of a high-mass star
B Supernova explosions
C Neutron stars
D Properties of black holes
Recommended Topics
E Space travel near black holes
F Observational evidence for black holes

VII The Milky Way Galaxy
Required Topics
A The structure of the Milky Way galaxy
B The galactic disk
C Spiral structure
D Disk and halo stars
E The mass of the galaxy
F The center of our galaxy

VIII Normal Galaxies
Required Topics
A Hubble's galaxy classification
Recommended Topics
B Galaxy masses
C The distribution of galaxies in space
D The formation and evolution of galaxies

IX Active Galaxies and Quasars
Recommended Topics
A Seyfert galaxies
B Radio galaxies
C The central engine of an active galaxy
D Quasi-stellar objects
E Active galaxy evolution

X Cosmology
Required Topics
A Hubble's law
B The universe on the largest scales
C Special and General Relativity
D Cosmic expansion
E The fate of the universe
F The geometry of space
G The big bang
H The very early universe
I The formation of structure in the universe
Recommended Topics
J Cosmic inflation

XI Life in the Universe
Recommended Topics
A What is life?
B Prospects for intelligent life in the galaxy
C The search for extraterrestrial intelligence

Assessment of Outcome Objectives
The college believes in the academic value of giving final exams that are comprehensive in nature; however, the college also values the discretion of the faculty member to determine appropriate assessment methods. The departments on each campus and/or individual instructors will construct a detailed syllabus based on the Common Course Outline for implementation in each class.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Oct. 2003 APPROVED DATE: October 2003

Updated:  March, 1997.
May 1997 - Final exams now required.
May 1998- updated for semester conversion
March 2001- updated to reflect current catalogue
March 2002- course number and description changed
Sept. 2003- assessment statement from faculty handbook adopted, required/recommended
topics segregated
Oct. 2003- outline of course content updated

Last Revised: Sep. 09, 2011
Return to all courses