ASTR 250 The Solar System (3)
Introduction to the current state and past evolution of the Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Critical focus is on developing an understanding of the Earth as a planetary body and learning how the studies of other planets and satellites influence models of the climatic, geologic, and biologic history of our home world. Other topics include energy production in stars, global warming, impact hazards, and the search for life beyond our solar system. Results from past and current NASA missions will be explored.
ASTR 260 Galaxies, Relativity, and Cosmology (3)
Introduction to the study of the structure and history of the universe. Topics include the basic properties of energy and gravity, thermonuclear fusion in stars, composition and distribution of galaxies, spacetime, Einstein's special and general relativity, cosmic microwave background, expansion of the universe, dark energy, and the theories of the big bang and inflation.