From our earliest days, humans have looked up into the sky and wondered about what we could see. As such, astronomy – studying celestial objects and phenomena – is one of the oldest natural science disciplines and is one of the few sciences in which amateurs play an active role, both in discovery and observation.
We offer introductory courses in astronomy and their associated labs as well as a Minor in Astronomy. Students view planets, stars, constellations and learn to use the telescope. Students learn about the Origin of the Universe, the Big Bang, Galaxies, and Space exploration. We have implemented an astro-photography project, unique in the country, where students take spectacular images of nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters.
Physics Degree with emphasis in Astronomy
For Undergraduates we offer an Astronomy Minor, as described below. At the Graduate level we have courses in General Relativity and Gravitational Physics.
A minor in Astronomy familiarizes students with the main concepts in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology. It introduces the main facts about the solar system, stellar and galactic astronomy, and cosmology; develops some of the theory needed to understand the astrophysics of those systems; and teaches students some of the observational techniques, including telescopes and students will be involved in hands-on astrophotography.
This minor could provide you with the basic knowledge and techniques to actively contribute to a field you may have found fascinating since childhood. Others may wish to teach science and astronomy in K-12, gain admission to a graduate program in astronomy, or simply broaden their horizons – literally.
A minor in astronomy consists of the following 6 courses.
- Introductory Astronomy of the Solar System (Astr 103)
- Astronomy of Stars and Galaxies (Astr 204)
- Astrophysics (Astr 325)
- Introduction to Cosmology (Astr 436)
- Introduction to Modern Physics (Phys 317)
- Introduction to Modern Physics II (Phys 318)
- Optics (Phys 319)
Note that all 300- and 400-level physics courses have prerequisites of at least Math 261 and Math 262. Physics courses at the appropriate level may be substituted at the discretion of the department. For more information please see the online catalog.
- Tibor Torma, Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Kennon Observatory.
- Luca Bombelli, Professor, Astrophysics and Gravitational Physics Research.
- Jennifer Meyer, Instructional Assistant Professor and Director of the Astronomy Minor.
- Jim Hill, Visiting Professor, Astronomy.
- Course Information
- Lab Information
- Kennon Observatory Director’s Page
- Kennon Observatory