SRJC Course Outlines

7/13/2024 12:24:38 AMASTRON 4 Course Outline as of Fall 2008

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  ASTRON 4Title:  ASTRONOMY/SOLAR SYSTEM  
Full Title:  Astronomy of the Solar System
Last Reviewed:4/10/2023

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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A descriptive introduction to the Solar System emphasizing the Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids, comets and origin of the Solar System.  


Recommended Preparation:
Completion of MATH 150A or higher AND Completion of ENGL 100 or ESL 100.

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
A descriptive introduction to the Solar System emphasizing the Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids, comets and origin of the Solar System.  
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Completion of MATH 150A or higher AND Completion of ENGL 100 or ESL 100.
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 1981
Natural Sciences
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 B1Physical ScienceFall 1981
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 5APhysical SciencesFall 1981
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1991Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1991Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Define and apply the scientific method.
2. Compare the Solar System and its components to other celestial bodies and structures within the Universe.
3. Describe the physical and orbital properties of the Jovian and
Terrestrial planets.
4. Identify the major contributions to astronomy made by various
philosophers, natural scientists, and astronomers.
5. Construct a diagram of the Earth-Moon-Sun system to determine the
Moon's phases at specific times during the lunar cycle.
6. Explain why seasons occur on Earth and other planets.
7. Distinguish and summarize the relationship between comets,
asteroids, and meteor showers.
8. Summarize the physical properties of the major planets and their
largest satellites, comparing such characteristics as
atmosphere, surface temperatures, surface composition and features,
surface gravity and internal structure.
9. Classify the major types of meteorites and summarize the
characteristics of each.
10. Describe the structure of the Sun as well as various solar processes and phenomena.  

Topics and Scope
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I. Overview of the Universe
        A. The scientific method
        B. Celestial bodies of the Universe
        C. Distance scales
II. History of Astronomy
        A. Historical models of the cosmos
        B. Heliocentric Universe
        C. The Copernican revolution
        D. Kepler's 3 laws of planetary motion
        E. Newtonian laws of motion and gravity
        F. Calculating surface gravities of planets
III. Overview of the Major Planets
        A. Terrestrial Planets
        B. Jovian Planets
IV. Mercury
        A. Surface features and other properties
        B. Exploration
V.  Venus
        A. Atmosphere, surface features, and other properties
        B. Exploration
VI.  Earth
        A. Atmosphere, surface features, and other properties
        B. Seasons
        C. Life-planet relationships
VII.  Mars
        A. Canals and historical observations
        B. Atmosphere, surface features, and other properties
        C. Exploration
        D. Evidence of liquid water flow
VIII. Jupiter and Saturn
        A. Atmosphere, interior structure, and other properties
        B. Satellites
        C. Planetary ring systems and Roche's Limit
        D. Exploration
IX. Uranus and Neptune
        A. Discovery
        B. Atmosphere, interior structure and other properties
        C. Satellites
        D. Exploration
X.  Pluto and Other Dwarf Planets
        A. Discovery
        B. Properties
        C. Exploration
XI. Comets and Meteor Showers
        A. Anatomy of a comet
        B. Cometary orbits
        C. Historical comets
        D. Comet-meteor relationships
        E. Meteors and meteor showers
XII. Asteroids and Meteorites
        A. Asteroid classification
        C. Impacts
        D. Meteorite classification
XIII. The Moon
        A. Delay in rise/set
        B. Phases
        C. Surface and interior
        D. Orbit
        E. "Geologic" history
        F. The Space Program
XIV. Eclipses
        A. Types of shadows
        B. Lunar eclipses
        C. Solar eclipses
        D. Eclipse seasons and future eclipses
XV. The Sun
        A. Solar interior and atmosphere
        B. Nuclear fusion
        C. Photosphere and sunspots
XVI. The Origin of the Solar System
        A. Nebular Hypothesis
        B. Age of the Solar System
Additional topics may include:
XVII.  Earth and sky
        A.  Celestial Sphere
        B.  Diurnal and annual motion
XVIII. Constellations and mapping
        A. Star charts and planispheres
        B.  Terrestrial and celestial coordinate systems
XIX. Optical Systems
        A.  Image formation
        B.  Lenses and mirrors
        C.  Telescopes types
        D.  Cameras
XX.     Extrasolar Planets  

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Assignments vary but typically include the following:
1. Reading from the textbook or instructor prepared materials (averaging
    one chapter per week, roughly 20-30 pages).
2. Homework assignments which may include: a) independent research, b)
    group projects, c) problem sets, d) written work. These homework
    assignments may involve explaining concepts
    discussed in class, in the text, and/or problem solving pertaining to
    such subjects as phases of the Moon, the Law of Gravity, Kepler's
    3rd Law, Roche's Limit and escape velocity.
3. Five to ten page, typed research paper (using at least two outside
    sources)on instructor approved subjects.
4. In-class exercises/activities on subject matter presented in class
    and/or pertaining to videos watched. Exercises/activities may involve
    explaining concepts discussed in class and/or problem solving, involving such subjects as phases of the Moon, the Law of Gravity, Kepler's 3rd Law, Roche's Limit, and escape velocity. Exercises/activities may be done individually or in groups.
5. Extra credit assignments involving visits to Santa Rosa Junior College
    Planetarium, and/or reaction papers to selected scientific movies or
    articles. Reaction papers should be typed and 1 to 1.5 pages.
6. Two to four exams, as well as a final exam (which may or may not be
    comprehensive). Exams may consist of true-false, multiple choice,
    problem-solving completion and/or essay questions.  

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 30%
Written homework, Term papers, Extra credit essays
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
5 - 30%
Homework problems, In-class exercises
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
60 - 80%
Multiple choice, True/false, Matching items, Completion, Problem-solving, essay questions
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 10%
Attendance, individual/group projects

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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Megan. Scheider, Nicholas. Voit, Mark. Pearson Addison Wesley: 2007.
PATHWAYS TO ASTRONOMY. Schneider, Stephan. Arny, Thomas. McGraw Hill:
Brooks/Cole: 2007.  

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