Download NOVA COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY PHY 150

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Transcript
NOVA COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY
PHY 150 - ELEMENTS OF ASTRONOMY (4 CR.)
Formerly NAS 130 -5/2013
Course Description
Covers the history of astronomy and its recent developments. Stresses the use of astronomical instruments and
measuring techniques and includes the study and observation of the solar system, stars, and galaxies. Lecture 3
hours. Recitation and laboratory 3 hours. Total 6 hours per week.
General Course Purpose
This course serves as a one-semester laboratory science course for non-science majors and as a science elective
for science majors. Students are exposed to the sciences of chemistry, physics, and geology and the philosophy of
science as they relate to the study of the universe and the cosmos. Students will gain a perspective of
humankind’s presence on a small blue planet that orbits a non-descript star that is one of billions in an ordinary
galaxy.
This course in conjunction with NAS 125 - Meteorology may fulfill the requirement as a one-year lab science course
for non-science majors.
Course Prerequisites/Corequisites
Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 111 or division approval
Course Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
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Describe the spatial and temporal scales of the expanding universe
Explain the scientific method and its application to science and astronomy, that produced new theories
and the many scientific revolutions that followed
List and describe the physical laws that govern the interaction of matter, energy, time, and space in the
cosmos and how they allow astronomers to comprehend the vast array of objects observable in the sky.
Describe how electromagnetic radiation is produced and utilized by astronomers to understand
phenomena that lie at remote distances from the Earth and how studying greater distances correlates to a
view of the universe further back in time
Describe how studying exotic forms of life on Earth may assist in the search for life elsewhere and how
human introspection may aid in pursuit for extraterrestrial intelligence within our galaxy
Major Topics to be Included
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Observing the night sky and astronomical time keeping
The history & development of astronomy and related laws of physics
The nature & physics of light. Optics, telescopes and spectroscopy
The Earth as a planet and its nearest neighbor, the Moon
Atmospheric and geological characteristics of planets, moons and minor bodies of the solar system.
The atmosphere and interior of the Sun. Sunspots and the solar cycle
The characteristics of stars illustrated by the H-R diagram
Stellar evolution from birth to death, including stellar remnants such as black holes understood through
knowledge of relativity
• Characteristics of normal and active galaxies
• Cosmology, including the past, present and future of the universe
• Astrobiology and the search for life in our solar system and galaxy
• Laboratory sessions working with measuring instruments of the astronomer, physical phenomena linked
to astronomy and making inferences from series of astronomical data analyses
Extra Topics (Optional)
As available, the course may be supplemented with field trips to planetariums and observations, sky gazing
sessions, guest speakers and discussions of new discoveries.