ASTR 110L has two goals: fostering a basic awareness of the universe, and exploring the conceptual underpinnings of astronomy.
Course activities include both astronomical viewing and laboratory experimentation. Through direct observation, students will become familiar with constellations, planets, moons, stars, clusters, and nebulae, and learn how to use small astronomical telescopes and other simple equipment. Through laboratory exercises, they will come to recognize the unity of astronomical and terrestrial physics.
The activities planned for this lab are fairly simple and use only basic physics and math. It's important that students should be able to fully understand what they are doing at each step. For that reason, the course will de-emphasize the use of sophisticated `black boxes' and computer simulations in favor of simple - but conceptually transparent - tools and techniques.
Because this course depends on direct observation of the night sky it will be offered only in the evening.