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Web Schedule Summer 2018

Revision Date: 15-Apr-18

PHY-1110-VO01 - Introduction to Astronomy

Synonym: 161002
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 05-22-2018 to 08-13-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 06-11-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 07-09-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Ken Corey | View Faculty Credentials
Open Seats/Section Limit: 5/16 (as of 04-19-18 11:20 PM)
This section meets the following General Education Requirement(s):
Scientific Method
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please see consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description:

This course focuses on planets and the solar system, the evolution of stars, galaxies, and the formation of the universe. Concepts of astronomical distance, physics of light and gravity, and general relativity will be used to show how astronomers make their discoveries. Prerequisite: Basic Algebra.

Essential Objectives:

1. Apply the scientific method to create and test hypotheses as they relate to astronomy.
2. Describe the history and principal methods of astronomy.
3. Define key astronomical vocabulary and describe phenomenon such as "black holes" and "pulsars."
4. Describe the correct use of a small telescope to locate celestial objects.
5. Identify selected celestial objects.
6. Describe how various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are used to extend our "vision" in astronomy.
7. Compare and contrast characteristics of stars, galaxies, planets, comets, meteorites, and other astronomical objects.
8. Discuss the origin of the universe using the "Big Bang Theory" as the principal cosmological model.
9. Explore the origin and evolution of stars.
10. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating, and applying quantitative data and information.





Your work in Introduction to Astronomy will involve weekly homework, 2 quests, and 1 paper.  The weekly homework will take several forms.  You will create a journal of notes with additions of terms and concepts for the topics of each week.  Your journal will be submitted and evaluated one week before each quiz.  Your work on the journal may be thought of as a study guide and you may refer to it for the two quests (75 minutes). Weekly homework will also involve submitting responses to questions (between five and seven each week).  During the term, you will be expected to make five or six posts to the Forum.  Each forum contribution will take a different form, the details of which will be given when assigned (approximately every two weeks).  The following themes will be used for Forum posts:  Matters of Scale, Messier Objects, Historical Figures, Planetary Missions, Solar System Debris, and Astrobiology.  Lastly, weekly homework will include the conduct of three labs by you and a partner.  You will work together and pool observations, ideas, and data.  Each student will write their reports independently.  Specific details on the two labs will be given when assigned.   

Evaluation Criteria:


Evaluation Criteria    

Evaluation of your work in Introduction to Astronomy will be based upon the following requirements.

  • Weekly homework questions (10 %) -  (~ 5 to 7) – due on Monday 9 a.m. 
  • Discussion Forums interspersed (20 %) (7) – due dates variable
  • Journal work (10 %) – checked one week prior to each Questb
  • Quests (30 %) open note/test/online/journal and timed will be scheduled after week 5 and week 11.
  • Labs (collaborative) reports (10 %) – 2 to 3 pages in length – due dates TBDc
  • Short Papers (20 %) – 2, 3 to 5 page papers; one a critique of an article and the other on a topic of chosen by the student.  Details on requirements for each will be given under week 0.
  • BONUS points (variable) – on occasion, bonus point challenges will be offered and correct responses posted.  Since students then have access to correct or good answers, a similar question might be placed on a Quest.  

 a  The following themes will be used for Forum posts:  Matters of Scale, Observatories of the World, Historical Figures, Planetary Missions, Solar System Debris, Cosmic Collisions, and Astrobiology.  Details will be given in the appropriate weeks.

 b You will create a journal of notes with additions of terms and concepts for the topics of each week.  Your work on the journal may be thought of as a study guide and you may refer to it for the two quests.

c You will conduct two ‘labs’/activities with a lab partner.  You will work together and pool observations, ideas, and data.  Each student will write their reports independently.  Specific details on the two labs will be given under week 2. 

Grading Criteria:


Grading Criteria

Letter grades will be based upon the following criteria.  Values in parentheses indicate typical numerical averages that guarantee that letter grade.

A+ through A- (90-100 %):  Exceptional/outstanding work that demonstrates clear understanding of concepts, critical thinking, creative approaches, well articulated responses on written work, and overall effort put into nearly to all work.

B+ through B- (80-89 %):  Good to excellent work that demonstrates strong originality, understanding, critical thinking, and attention to the details of assignments.

C+ through C- (70-79 %):  Meets expectations of assignment and demonstrates solid understanding, critical thinking, and attention to details of assignments.

D+ through D- (60-69 %):  Marginally meets expectations of assignments that demonstrates minimal understanding, critical thinking and attention to details of assignments.

F (< 60 %):  Work does not meet expectations of assignments and demonstrates that there were consistent issues with understanding, organization, critical thinking, and in some cases, perhaps low effort.

P:  Equivalent to a grade of greater than a D+ (> 69 %).  Credit will not be given for the course toward specific requirements of the program or competency.

NP:  Failure to meet course objectives or grading criteria needed to successfully meet requirements described by professor.


Summer 2018 textbook data will be available on April 9. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

PHY-1110-VO01 Textbooks.

The last day to use a Financial Aid advance to purchase textbooks is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Contact Faculty:

Email: Kenneth Corey
Hiring Coordinator for this course:

Mailing Address:
2767 Lake St
Shoreham, VT 05770-9644

Notes: email:

Attendance Policy:


Attendance Policy

Students should be committed to daily time spent on reading, studying, making journal entries, and working on homework assignments.  It is strongly suggested that students check emails, announcements, and forum posts on a daily basis.  While being online offers student a flexible means to complete work for a course, it also requires discipline.  It is fair to say that procrastination often leads to anxiety and less than optimal results.  Therefore, beginning work promptly is very important to timely completion of assignments. 



Introduction to Astronomy Syllabusabc

Week 0 (General):  Matters of Scale & Units

·         Ch.1/Instructor Blurb (PB)/PPT (Power Point)

·         Forum posts on Matters of Scale

·         Prepare Table of data obtained from Forum posts

·         Browse popular and academic periodicals using Hartness library resources and the internet and searching for topics that pique your interest. Some websites suggested by instructor.

Week 1:  Historical Perspectives & Understanding the Sky

·         Chapters 2 and 3/PB/PPT

·         Respond to Forum posts of week 0

·         Forum posts on Historical Figures & Response to Posts from week 0

·         Form Lab Team to conduct Sky Observations – Form coordination plan

·         Form Lab Team to conduct Lunar Studies – Form coordination plan

Week 2: Light & Telescopes

·         Ch. 2 & 3/PB/PPT

·         Forum Posts:  Observatories of the World

·         Assignment with Questions and Basic Calculations about light and telescopes

·         Search for periodical/journal article to write a 2 to 3 page Summary & Critique

·         Lab teams meet on-line or in person to discuss approaches, duties, and observation sharing.  Share progress with Instructor

Week 3:  Solar System 1:  Origin & Terrestrial Planets

·         Ch. 4 & 5/PB

·         Forum Posts:  Planetary Missions

·         Select and Work on Summary & Critique

Week 4:  Solar System 2:  Jovian Planets, Kuiper Belt Objects,

& Extrasolar Planets

·         Ch. 6/PB/PPT

·         Turn in Summary & Critique

·         Journal Submission Number 1

Week 5:  Solar System 3:  Debris – Asteroids, Comets, & Meteors

·         Ch. 6 & 7/PB

·         Forum post:  Solar System Debris

·         Study for Quest

Week 6:  Light, Radiation Laws, Fusion & the Sun

·         Ch. 8; PB/PPT

·         Midterm Quest Number 1

Week 7:  Lives of Stars, Stellar Graveyard, and Theories of


·         Ch. 9 & 10/PB/PPT

·         Select and work on Topic of Choice Paper      

Week 8:  Galaxies & Hubble’s Law 

·         Ch. 11 & 12/PB/PPT

·         Topic of Choice short paper due

Week 10:  Cosmological Models & Theories:  Genesis,

     Evolution, Structure, & Fate of the Universe; Dark

     Matter,  Dark Energy, & Inflation

·         Ch. 12 & 13/PB/PPT

·         Forum posts:  Cosmology, Parallel Universes & Religion

·         Journal Submission Number 2

·         Pool observations for labs

·         Study for Quest 2

Week 11:  Astrobiology:  Drake Equation, Exoplanets, The

Habitable Zone, Origins of Life, Extremophilia, Space

Travel, & Advanced Life Support

·         Ch. 15

·         Quest Number 2

·         Forum posts on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

Week 12:  The Big Crunch & You

·         Lab Report on Sky Observations due

·         Lab Report on Lunar Phases due

·         Forum posts on Astronomy in the News

 a There will also be suggested and assigned readings determined by what the professional community in Astronomy & Space Technology is currently learning.  These may be useful for selecting and developing Forum posts and papers.  Chapter assignments usually have questions, some of which will have basic calculations.  These are all due by Monday morning of the following week.

bPB = Professor Blurb and PPT = Power Point

cBold and italicized type represent work to be Turned In or Submitted as Post

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.

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