AST 111 - Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and marveled at the vastness and complexity of space? You are invited to take a deeper dive into the mind-blowing world of astronomy. At the end of this course, you will walk away with the knowledge to answer the following questions:

  • Where did our solar system come from?
  • How is our solar system structured?
  • What makes up our solar system - what are its contents?
  • What are exosolar planetary systems?
  • What is the history of the field of astronomy?
  • Why are the various properties of light important to astronomy?
  • What are the various instruments used in astronomy and how are they used?

Throughout the course, you will also take a look at nearby stars and learn about the Lowell Observatory, the Challenger Space Center, the Discovery Channel Telescope, and Meteor Crater, the largest meteor impact site in the world. Additionally, you will take a virtual tour of the Lunar Exploration Museum and the home of the Mars Space Flight Facility where scientists are using spacecraft to explore the geology of Mars.

This course is packed with information and will greatly expand your understanding of our vast universe.

College algebra, or MAT 117, is strongly recommended as a prerequisite for success in this astronomy course. In this course, you’ll be:

  • Executing arithmetic.
  • Identifying relevant equations.
  • Identifying values and their units.
  • Performing algebra to isolate quantities.
  • Understanding units.

Throughout the course, you’ll have success resources available, such as formula handouts.

    This course includes a lab and satisfies 4 credit hours toward the Natural Science - Quantitative (SQ) General Studies requirement at Arizona State University. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with your institution of choice to determine how these credits will be applied to their degree requirements prior to transferring your credit.

    Upcoming start dates

    Aug. 17, 2021$25 + 400
    Jan. 11, 2022$25 + 400




    8 weeks

    Faculty and course staff

    Dr. Frank Timmes


    Arizona State University