From Planets to the Cosmos (Astronomy 1101) is an overview of astronomy from our solar system to the universe as a whole. Designed for non-science majors, this course is organized around three overarching and interconnected themes:
The Long Copernican Revolution: the historical discovery of the nature of our solar system, and our on-going discovery of planetary systems around other stars.
The Lives of the Stars: the nature and evolution of stars and black holes, and the origin of the chemical elements we find in nature.
The Cosmos: the history of galaxies and the universe, evidence for the Big Bang, and the structure of the universe on its largest scales.
This course will review the facts that astronomers have learned about these topics, describe the outstanding scientific problems at the frontiers of current research, illustrate ways in which physical principles are used to understand the universe, and show how scientific theories are developed and tested against observations.