Fall 2017  -  Get temporary access to course materials (Amherst College and Five-college students only)

Exploring the Cosmos

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as ASTR-111

Formerly listed as: ASTR-11

Moodle site: Course


Michael D. Stage (Section 01)


What is the shape of the universe? How do stars die? What happens when galaxies collide? This course will provide an introduction to the nature and evolution of stars, our Milky Way galaxy, other galaxies, and the origin, size, shape and fate of the universe itself. We will explore how the fields of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology emerged and continue to evolve, and will touch on many of the big unanswered questions in these fields. Our investigations of galactic and extragalactic phenomena will focus on understanding proportionalities, relative sizes, and visual representations of data, as well as evaluating the reasonableness of quantitative answers rather than on lengthy calculations.

Limited to 60 students (25 spots reserved for first-year students).  Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Stage.

If Overenrolled: 25 slots reserved for freshmen. Of the 35 remaining slots, preference given to seniors. All other slots filled by lottery.


Quantitative Reasoning, Science & Math for Non-majors


2017-18: Offered in Fall 2017
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016