Astronomy, the oldest of all scientific studies, has played a vital role in the development of modern science. Astronomers study the formation, composition, and evolution of various objects, such as planets, stars, galaxies, nebulae, black holes, and the Universe itself. Students take astronomy courses to prepare for a major in astronomy or to fulfill general education requirements. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in astronomy pursue careers as museum and planetarium directors, astronomers/astrophysicists, space scientists, mission data analysts, spacecraft and instrument designers, teachers, observatory technicians, telescope operators, optics or electronics technicians, computer programmers, and mathematicians.
Department Chair: Chris Metzler
Dean: Carlos Lopez
Department: Physical Sciences
Office: Building OC3600, 760.795.6844
Rica Sirbaugh French|
How to Read Course Descriptions
Courses listed in this catalog apply to the fall 2013, spring 2014, and summer 2014 terms. Courses are numbered numerically within alphabetically arranged subject areas.
The bolded first line begins with a capitalized abbreviation that designates the subject area. This subject-area designator is followed by the official course number and a descriptive title. The next lines indicate the course's unit value; prerequisites, corequisites, advisories, and limitations on enrollment if they exist; CSU/UC credit acceptance; and lecture and lab hours followed by a Taxonomy of Program number in parentheses.
- Prerequisites: This is a requirement that must be met before a student can enroll in the course.
- Corequisites: This is a course the student must take in the same semester.
- Advisories: This is recommended preparation the student is advised but not required to have before or in conjunction with the course.
- Enrollment Limitations: Some courses place restrictions on enrollment. Most of these restrictions prevent students from duplicating course work. Others specify something the student must do prior to enrolling in a course, such as audition or obtain special approval. Some enrollment limitations restrict the number of units a student can earn within a group of similar courses.
- Acceptable for Credit: CSU means the course is accepted for transfer at any California State University (CSU) campus; UC means it is accepted for transfer at any University of California (UC) campus. Some courses can be used to satisfy general education or major requirements while others transfer as elective credit. UC Credit Limitation means credit for the course may have UC transfer restrictions; these restrictions are identified at the end of the course description.
- Lecture and Lab Hours: These are the number of hours the course meets for lecture and/or lab per week.
- Taxonomy of Program (TOP) Number: The TOP number is identified in parentheses after the lecture and lab hours. This number serves an administrative purpose and is not intended for student use.
The course description summarizes the purpose and key topical areas of the course, and it includes special requirements if any exist. Some course descriptions end with information about whether the course was "formerly" another course, how many times the course may be repeated, if the course is offered pass/no pass, or what the UC credit limitation is.
Some course descriptions are followed by a C-ID number. The purpose of C-ID numbers is to identify comparable courses within the California community college system. When a course has a C-ID number, students can be assured the course will be accepted in lieu of a course bearing the same C-ID designation at another community college.
ASTR 101: Descriptive Astronomy
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 3 hours. (1911.00)
This introductory course surveys the entire Universe while emphasizing the nature and process of physical science. Topics include the Earth-Sun-Moon system and night sky; Newton's laws of motion and gravitation; historical astronomy; electromagnetic radiation; spectroscopy; optics and telescopes; the formation and evolution of stars, planets, nebulae, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole; the Big Bang; and astrobiology. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for ASTR 101 or ASTR 201.
ASTR 101L: Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory
This course provides a hands-on introduction to the methods and techniques of observational astronomy and data/error analysis. It emphasizes the collection, presentation, and interpretation of astronomical observations. Students learn to use a planisphere, read star charts, and operate small telescopes. Through indoor activities and by making naked-eye, binocular, and telescopic observations, students explore such topics as seasons, lunar phases, rotation of the Earth, optics, light and spectroscopy, planets, stars, galaxies, and cosmology.
ASTR 120: Life in the Universe
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (1911.00)
A scientific exploration of life in the Universe from the Big Bang to implications of contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Topics include the formation and evolution of the Universe, stars and extrasolar planets, the definition of life, the origin and evolution of life on Earth, methods of interstellar communication, science vs. pseudo science, and the search for life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond.
ASTR 201: Introductory Astronomy
This introductory course surveys the entire Universe with an emphasis on analytical, mathematical, and problem-solving skills. Topics include celestial mechanics, electromagnetic radiation and atomic physics, relativity, stellar structure and evolution, black holes, formation and evolution of planetary systems, galaxies, and cosmology. The course is directed towards students with a strong preparation and interest in science and mathematics. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for ASTR 101 or ASTR 201; no credit if taken after ASTR 101.
ASTR 292: Internship Studies
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor, dept chair, and Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
This course provides students the opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of their discipline in an internship position in a professional setting under the instruction of a faculty-mentor and site supervisor. It introduces students to aspects of the roles and responsibilities of professionals employed in the field of study. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students must develop new learning objectives and/or intern at a new site upon each repetition. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.