Aug 14, 2022  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023
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ASTR 1030 - General Astronomy 1

Credit Hours: 2.00

Prerequisites: None

Descriptive course analyzing the solar system, historical aspects, including the astronomy of ancient civilizations, important astronomers, and the instruments used by the astronomer.

Billable Contact Hours: 2

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Outcome 1: The student will analyze the nature of scientific laws, models, and theories.


  1. Identify the physical laws, models, and theories that are applicable to astronomical objects and phenomena.
  2. Describe physical laws, models, and theories that are applicable to astronomical objects and phenomena.
  3. Analyze and apply the physical laws, models, and theories that are applicable to astronomical objects and phenomena.
  4. Assess the testability of a hypothesis.
  5. Develop appropriate astronomical hypotheses.
  6. Analyze and interpret the success or failure of astronomical hypotheses.

Outcome 2: The student will use appropriate specialized scientific vocabulary.


  1. Define astronomical terminology.
  2. Recall astronomical terminology.
  3. Employ astronomical terminology.

Outcome 3: The student will analyse the techniques used in observing and collecting data on astronomical objects and phenomena and how astronomical observations and data are analysed and interpreted.


  1. Identify properties of electromagnetic radiation.
  2. Compare astronomical techniques of data acquisition.
  3. Interpret the observations and data acquired through various techniques.
  4. Perform calculations relevant to the phenomena of temperature conversions, stellar parallax, and basic carbon dating.
  5. Identify techniques used to study various astronomical objects and phenomena.
  6. Describe methods astronomers use to analyze collected data.

Outcome 4: The student will identify the techniques for extending scientific laws and models from the laboratory setting to the observed universe.


  1. Identify the scientific law or model to which the laboratory setting can be applied.
  2. Identify the laboratory setting that applies to particular scientific law or model.

Outcome 5: The student will explain the Earth’s place in the solar system, and the solar system’s place within the universe.


  1. Recall that the Earth is located in a spatial hierarchy consisting of the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, the Local Group, and the Local Supercluster.
  2. Describe the organization of the Solar System. .

Outcome 6: The student will interpret the sky.


  1. Discern the color and magnitude differences between planets, the Sun, and the Moon.
  2. Describe the motion of the planets.
  3. Recognize that there are more objects in the solar system than can be viewed with the naked eye, and that there are objects that are viewable that are not within the solar system.
  4. Recognize the importance of telescopes for data acquisition, and recall the primary functions of the various types of telescopes.

Outcome 7: The student will explain the historical perspective of the development of the scientific method and scientific laws.


  1. Reconstruct the development of our understanding of the Earth’s place in the Universe from the historical beginnings to modern times.
  2. Describe the evolution of the scientific method and scientific laws.
  3. Describe the catalysts for the evolution of the scientific method and scientific laws.
  4. Identify the principle investigators of astronomical concepts.
  5. Describe the contributions of the principle investigators to the development of the scientific method and scientific laws.
  6. Identify the primary differences between the pseudoscience astrology and the science of astronomy and the evolution of astrology to astronomy.

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Critical Thinking: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES


  1. Historical Astronomy
    1. Prehistoric Astronomy
    2. Development of Calendars and other Early Discoveries
    3. Origin of the Constellations
    4. The Seasons
    5. Eclipses
    6. Astrology and the Origin of other Superstitions
    7. Egyptian Cosmology
    8. Early Greek Cosmologies
    9. The Ptolemaic System
    10. Islamic Astronomy
  2. The Layout of the Solar System
    1. Problems with the Ptolemaic Model
    2. The Copernican Revolution
    3. Tycho Brahe
    4. Kepler’s Laws
    5. Galileo’s Observations
    6. Newton’s Synthesis
  3. Light and Telescopes
    1. Nature of Light
    2. The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    3. The Origin of Light
    4. Emission Lines and Bands
    5. Absorption Lines and Bands
    6. Design of Optical Telescopes
    7. Photometry
    8. Image Processing
    9. Spectrophotometry
    10. Interferometry
    11. Telescopes in Space
  4. Earth as a Planet
    1. Age of the Earth
    2. Internal Structure
    3. Earth’s Magnetic Field
    4. Earth’s Evolution and Outside Catastrophic Events
    5. Earth’s Atmosphere and Oceans
    6. The Magnetosphere
  5. The Moon
    1. The Earth-Moon System
    2. Historical Observations of the Moon
    3. The Development of Space Exploration and Moon Exploration
    4. Surface Features of the Moon
    5. Lunar Rocks: Moon-Earth Comparison
    6. Interior of the Moon
    7. Evolution of the Moon
    8. Origin of the Moon
    9. Return to the Moon
  6. Mercury
    1. Rotation and Revolution of Mercury
    2. Historical Observation from the Earth
    3. Spacecraft Observations
    4. The Surface of Mercury
    5. Internal Structure of Mercury
    6. Mercury’s Atmosphere
    7. Mercury’s Magnetic Field
    8. Mercury’s Evolutionary History
    9. Comparative Planetology of Mercury
  7. Venus
    1. Slow Retrograde Rotation of Venus
    2. Historical Observations from the Earth
    3. Spacecraft Observations
    4. The Surface of Venus
    5. The Atmosphere of Venus
    6. The Internal Structure of Venus
    7. Comparative Planetology of Venus
  8. Mars
    1. Historical Observations from the Earth
    2. Spacecraft Observations
    3. Surface Geology of Mars
    4. The Atmosphere of Mars
    5. Current and Ancient Climate
    6. Martian Internal Structure
    7. The Search for Life
    8. Martian Satellites: Phobos and Demos
    9. Comparative Planetology of Mars
  9. Jupiter
    1. Rotation Rate
    2. Historical Observations from the Earth
    3. Spacecraft Observations
    4. The Atmosphere of Jupiter
    5. Internal Heating of Jupiter
    6. Internal Structure of Jupiter
    7. Jupiter’s Magnetosphere
    8. Jupiter’s Rings
    9. The Moons of Jupiter
    10. Comparative Planetology of Jupiter
  10. Saturn
    1. Rotation Rate
    2. Historical Observations from the Earth
    3. Spacecraft Observations
    4. The Atmosphere of Saturn
    5. Internal Heating of Saturn
    6. Internal Structure of Saturn
    7. Saturn’s Magnetosphere
    8. Saturn’s Rings
    9. The Moons of Saturn
    10. Comparative Planetology of Saturn
  11. Uranus, Neptune, and the Dwarf Planets
    1. Discovery of these Planets
    2. Spacecraft Observations
    3. Physical Nature of Uranus and Neptune
    4. Interiors of Uranus and Neptune
    5. Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune
    6. Rings of Uranus and Neptune
    7. Magnetosphere of Uranus and Neptune
    8. Comparative Planetology of Uranus and Neptune
    9. The Satellite Systems of Uranus and Neptune
    10. Pluto and the other Dwarf planets and their moons
  12. Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids
    1. Origin of Asteroids
    2. Nature of Asteroids
    3. Origin of Meteoroids
    4. Distinction Between Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites
    5. Historical Concepts of Comets
    6. Origin of Comets
    7. Nature of Comets

Primary Faculty
Fey, Francette
Secondary Faculty

Associate Dean
Young, Randall
Pritchett, Marie

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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