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Natural Science

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AST 1002 General Astronomy

The astronomy course is generally taught in the Fall and Spring semesters and as a distance learning course. General Astronomy is a general science course which is designed to give you an appreciation of the universe and a basic understanding of the various celestial inhabitants which surround the earth and our solar system. There are no math prerequisites for the class although it is expected that the student can read and comprehend material covered in the text.

The main course objectives are as follows:
  • Provide an understanding of the origins of astronomy and the discoveries that led to our present understanding of the universe around us.
  • Become familiar with the basic operation of several types of telescopes and how they are used to provide information about celestial objects.
  • Study the relationship between the earth, moon and sun and recognize how the motions of these bodies affect our perception as observers on the earth.
  • Survey the sun and planets in our solar system and the theories which explain the formation of planetary systems.
  • Examine the formation of stars from interstellar clouds and recognize the stellar remnants associated with a star's death.

The college has also recently purchased a telescope which will be used some nights for the Astronomy course. It is an LX200GPS 12" Reflecting Telescope which was purchased from Meade which has an observing power which is nearly comparable to small observatory telescopes. This telescope is much easier to use compared to the old Dobsonian Mount manual reflector since it is computer-controlled using 3 global positioning satellites and tracks for the motion of the earth. The pictures below show members of the Chipola community making observations with our new telescope and the old 8" Dobsonian Mount Reflector.

12 inch Reflecting Telescope       8 inch Dobsonian Telescope

The 12" LX200 GPS Reflector is used for the astronomy class, and for Astronomy Night viewings hosted by the Science Club. Everyone in the community is welcome to come and see the planets and stars during these events.

Astronomy Lecture Outline PowerPoint Slides

Chapter 1 - Discovering the Night Sky Chapter 10 - The Sun
Chapter 2 - Gravitation & the Waltz of the Planets Chapter 11 - Characterizing Stars
Chapter 3 - Telescopes Chapter 12 - Lives of Stars
Chapter 5 - Formation of the Solar System Chapter 13 - Deaths of Stars
Chapter 6 - The Moon

Other Useful Astronomy Links

NASA Home Page

                                        NASA Picture of the Day

Arecibo Observatory

                                        SkyView Virtual Observatory

Mars Global Observer

                                        Sky & Telescope's Space Links's Space & Astronomy Section

                                        Hubble Telescope Links

Radio Telescope Resources

Member of The Florida College System 3094 Indian Circle | Marianna, FL 32446 | Phone: (850) 526-2761 | Email Us