AST 1111 The Solar System

Patterns and movements of celestial objects; history of astronomy; gravity, light, and matter; various types of telescopes; origins of the solar system; properties of planets and their moons; asteroids, comets, meteoroids and space exploration. Students must sign up for concurrent lab sections.

Division: Science, Mathematics and Engineering
Department: Astronomy
Repeatable Credit: No
Offered Online: Yes

Prereqs: MAT 0100 OR MAT 1110 OR MAT 1130 OR MAT 1445 


  • Explain the daily and yearly motions of the SUn, cause of seasons, phases of the Moon, eclipses and the motions of the planets and stars based on observations of these celestial objects in the sky.
  • Compare and contrast the geocentric versus heliocentric views of the the universe by presenting historical evidence to support the progression of these views.
  • Describe the current theory for the formation of the solar system and analyze the evidence that is available in support of this theory.
  • Describe the characteristics that distinguish the minor bodies of the solar system (moons, asteroids, comets, meteoroids) and given a set of physical properties of a minor body, identify the object.
  • Describe the nature of electromagnetic radiation, explain how light is produced and the various instruments that astronomers use in making observations and measurements. Apply the principles of spectroscopy to deduce basic properties like composition and temperature of celestial objects.
  • Compare and contrast the physical and orbital properties of Terrestrial versus Jovian planets.

Credit Hours: 3

Classroom Hours: 3