Department of Astronomy

Astronomy Faculty Profiles

Astronomy is the study of the universe—from planets and stars to the Milky Way and distant galaxies, from the instant of the Big Bang to the current era of rapid expansion and beyond to the distant future. Modern astronomers rely on careful observations of the cosmos and on their understanding of physical laws to make sense of our often baffling, but always fascinating universe. The astronomy curriculum emphasizes hands-on observations at the Whitin Observatory, using our small telescopes and historic telescopes in introductory courses and the 24-inch research telescope for advanced classes and student research. Our introductory survey courses are appropriate for both science and nonscience majors: ASTR 100 provides a non-mathematical introduction to life in the universe, with an emphasis on exploring our sense of place in the cosmos, both scientifically and humanistically. ASTR 107 is a more mathematical and laboratory-based survey of astronomy, highlighting hands-on discovery-based inquiry and observations with our historic and modern telescopes, and serving as a gateway to our more advanced 200- and 300-level courses.

 

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