ASTR 330 Solar System Astronomy

Fall 2005 Course Introduction

ASTR 330 Solar System Astronomy is a 3-credit class. It has prerequisites of ASTR 100 or ASTR 101 and completion of the CORE Distributive Studies requirement in Mathematics and Sciences.

This class focuses on the solar system. Its goal is to give you a better understanding of not only what objects are in the solar system, but also why they are like they are. Why are there craters on the Moon? Why do we think there used to be - and may still be - water on Mars? Why are there volcanos on Io?

The story of finding these answers is a long one that extends throughout the entire history of humanity. It has not been easy to acquire the knowledge that we take for granted today. To help put this in perspective, a secondary goal of the course is to give you a better appreciation of the effort and time involved in understanding our solar system and what a great achievement our understanding really is.

This class is aimed at non-science majors. It will emphasize the scientific method and means scientists use to determine what we know about objects in our solar system. Since you have already taken at least one astronomy class, this class will be more in-depth and quantitative. You should be able to interpret graphs, use scientific notation and units, and be able to use a little algebra.