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Astro 102 - North Star Astronomy

Course Number: Astro 102

Course Name: North Star Astronomy

Credits: 1 Cr

Instructor: Charles Kerton

Contact information or website:

PreReq: None

Associated courses: Astro 103 and Astro 120

Format: This course is entirely online.

General introduction to the course

  • By the end, you should be able to go outside, observe where the Sun, the Moon, a star or a planet appears, and know where it will be some hours later.
  • You should understand that some stars are visible all year, some only during some seasons, and the reason why this is the case.
  • You should be able to describe the apparent motions of the sky that result from Earth's rotation and its orbital motion around the Sun, and relate these apparent motions to the location of the observer on the Earth.
  • You should understand how time zones work.
  • You should have some understanding of what actually causes the seasons we observe on Earth.
  • You should be able to relate information about where things are in the sky to where you are on Earth - navigation by the stars. We will not go into the full mathematical theory, but will examine some cases where the math is very simple and can be done with a simple diagram or formula.
  • Depending on which of the four optional units you choose, you will gain some knowledge of different calendar systems, constellations, forms of early clocks, or types of astronomy.