Astro 120: Fall 2005

The Sky and the Solar System

Prof. Steve Kawaler and Prof. Charles Kerton

In Astro 120, an introductory course in modern astronomy for non-scientists, we begin with a study of the sky (night and day): we will learn the constellations, study the motions of the Sun, moon, and planets, and review the reasons for the seasons, and the genesis of the modern calendar. We will explore the phenomena of eclipses and tides. We then begin exploring the bodies of our solar system -- the sun, the planets and their satellites, and comets, asteroids, and meteorites. We then address the bigger questions about the origin and evolution of our solar system, and explore the dozens recently-discovered other solar systems in our Galaxy. We conclude with a brief discussion of the possibility of life beyond the Earth. Throughout the course, we will be looking at the many exciting results from NASA probes, as well using the ISU planetarium.

A poem...


"Everyday" things for class...

Online Quizzes (from the website for the textbook by John Fix) - for practice only

Items from earlier in the course

General Course Info

The text for Astro 120 is The Solar System, which is Volume 1 of The Cosmic Perspective.
click for a bigger version

Back to Steve Kawaler's page

Back to Charles Kerton's page

Back to ISU Astronomy