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Programs Offered


About Astronomy

ASTRONOMY deals with the study of celestial objects, such as stars, planets, nebulae, comets and galaxies, and phenomena that exist outside Earth's atmosphere. Students wishing to study astronomy can take Astronomy 1 and its associated laboratory Astronomy 5.

Elementary Astronomy - Astronomy 1 (3 Units)

All areas of modern astronomy are discussed in this introductory course. Major topics include the history of astronomy, the sun, moon and planets, stars, constellations and galaxies, telescopes and other instruments.

Transfer: UC/CSU

Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: None


Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

At the end of the semester, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding that astronomy is based upon observations of the sky and how those observations explain some basic phenomena of nature.
  2. an understanding of the roles of gravity and light in the structure of and our understanding of the universe.

Class Description

Fundamentals of Astronomy Lab - Astronomy 5 (1 Unit)

Astronomy 5 laboratory course offers an introductory presentation of the methods and techniques used by astronomers to determine the nature of the universe. This course uses some very basic mathematics, and can be taken by non-science and/or science majors. When taken together with either Astronomy 001, a student's 'science with a lab' transfer and graduation requirement is met.

Topics covered in Astronomy 5 include star names, asterisms and constellations, sky motion, planet motion, orbital motion, stellar brightness, stellar spectrum, crater formation, star clusters, galaxies and deep sky objects.

An important part of the course involves working with and learning the operation of astronomical instruments and equipment including star wheels, star atlases, astronomical binoculars and computer planetarium software.


Transfer: UC/CSU

Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: Astronomy 1 or concurrent enrollment in Astronomy 1


Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

At the end of the semester, students will be able to:

  1. appropriately utilize the equipment and skills needed to make observations of solar systems, stars and galaxies, and universe processes and analyze this data by techniques used by astronomers and other scientists. 
  2. utilize communications skills (written/oral/web based, etc) to effectively describe and report on conclusions, conceptually and through real data collection, based on these results.