Fall 2007/Spring 2008 Course Catalog

The information below is taken from the printed catalog the college produces each year. For more up to date information, including links to course websites, faculty homepages, reserve readings, and more, use the 'courses' or semester specific link to your left.11. Introduction to Modern Astronomy. A course reserved exclusively for students not well-versed in the physical sciences.

The Astronomy Major

If you are thinking about majoring in Astronomy, you should go to the departmental office, Merrill 214, and ask to talk to Astronomy professors Haggard or Cowan. In the meantime, this page provides an outline of the requirements for a major. (The catalog is the official word on these matters, so read it, too.) 

DeMott Lecture: “A Sense of Wonder: Science, Creativity and Culture”

Simpson Lecturer Melia to Edit New Astronomy Journal

Fulvio Melia

Fulvio Melia, distinguished professor in the Physics, Astronomy and Applied Mathematics departments at the University of Arizona, who is visiting Amherst this fall as a John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer, has been named editor of a recently launched astronomy journal.

Melia was appointed editor-in-chief of European Astronomy Studies Development, an open access journal that seeks to publish high-quality, peer-reviewed, original manuscripts in all fields of astronomy and astrophysics, with a particular focus on computational astronomy: mathematical and astronomy techniques and methodology, simulations, modeling and numerical results and computational techniques in instrumentation.

The Lonely Planets

imageGeorge Greenstein,the Sidney Dillon Professor of Astronomy

Interview by Peter Rooney

Light Pollution: The Dark Side of Artificial Lighting


The minimum requirements for a rite degree in Astronomy are two Astronomy courses at the 20-level, two at the 30-level, Physics 23 and 24 or 16 and 17, and Math 11 and 12.

Students intending to apply for admission to graduate school in Astronomy are warned that this is insufficient preparation for their needs. They should consult with the department as early as possible in order to map out an appropriate strategy.

All Astronomy majors must pass a written comprehensive examination in the second semester of their senior year.


Amherst Celebrates its "New" Observatory June 1

May 14, 2001Director of Media Relations413/542-8417 AMHERST, Mass. - When it was built in 1905, the refracting telescope at the Observatory at Amherst College was one of the largest and finest in the world. College and community will celebrate the renovation of the historic 18-inch Alvin Clark telescope, and the reopening of the Observatory, with a free public program of original drama, music and talks on the afternoon and evening of Friday, June 1.

Mars Viewing At Amherst College Observatory August 30

August 28, 2003Director of Media Relations413/542-8417