This course will present an introduction to astronomy and cover the following topics: science and the universe, observing the sky, orbits and gravity, radiation and spectra, astronomical instruments, the Solar System, comets and asteroids, the Sun a nuclear powerhouse, stars and analyzing starlight, black holes and curved space-time, the Milky Way Galaxy, the evolution and distribution of galaxies, the Big Bang, and life in the Universe. Some course materials will be derived from the OpenStax book on Astronomy available for free at https://openstax.org/details/astronomy. Emphasis will be more on conceptual, as contrasted with mathematical, comprehension.
There will be several laboratory exercises which will will make use of computer simulations. Some of these exercises will involve rudimentary programming in Python. A minimum of two evening observing sessions are planned involving the use of binoculars and/or small telescopes.