L&S C70U Introduction to General Astronomy
This course is designed to provide, for both non-science and science majors, a description of the fantastic Universe in which we live. We cover the structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the cosmos as a whole, gaining insights into amazing objects like quasars, exploding stars, neutron stars, and black holes. Recent newsworthy events such as the detection of planets around other stars, the possible evidence of primitive life on Mars, and the discovery of gravitationally repulsive "dark energy" are also featured. Major themes include our origins (such as the origin of the chemical elements, stars, planets, and life), the methods by which astronomers investigate and eventually understand various aspects of the Universe, the scientific unification of many seemingly disparate phenomena, and the excitement felt by astronomers doing ground-breaking research on some of the most far-out topics imaginable. This course will inspire students to become more inquisitive about the world around them, and will develop their skills in arriving at conclusions based on logical, physical reasoning.