This course provides and introduction to major topics in astronomy. The journey begins with a description of our planet, its place in the solar system, and resulting seasonal changes, tidal movements, and earth’s precession. Farther out, the solar system, the planets, star clusters, the Milky Way galaxy, and modern strange systems such as black holes and supernovae are explored.
The physical, theoretical and experimental grounds for our understanding are explained including Newton’s laws, quantum and relativistic theories of light and matter, the science of visual and radio telescopes, and techniques for discovering the existence of other planets in the Universe. The course concludes with a description of the Big Bang theory and addresses the question of the existence of life beyond earth.