Fall 2020

Observing the Sky

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as ASTR-110

Moodle sites: Course  |  Section 01  |  Section 02


Alexandros Gianninas (Sections 01 and 02)


This course will introduce students to how to observe and understand a variety of phenomena in the daytime and nighttime sky. The lecture portion of the course will focus on the history of our understanding of the universe and how observations of celestial phenomena provided clues at each stage of this journey, which continues to this day. The nighttime laboratory portion of the course will focus on naked-eye, telescopic, and photographic observations of the sky. The course will make use of Amherst’s on-campus observatory on the roof of the new science center. 

The course is designed for in-person lectures, but due to the pandemic in 2020, we will have backup plans if the lectures have to be partially or fully remote. Due to the requirements of social distancing and limited space on the rooftop observatory, the night time observing labs will be conducted completely remotely.

Limited to 36 students, divided into two sections, with 24 seats reserved for first-year students. Fall semester.  Professor Gianninas

If Overenrolled: Priority for first-years, second-years, and majors in that order


Lab Science Course, Quantitative Reasoning, Science & Math for Non-majors


2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020