Bulletin--Astronomy Discipline


College of Science and Engineering
(See Physics and Astronomy in the Academic Programs section for information on degrees)

Undergraduate Courses

115 Introduction to Astronomy (3) [GE]

Designed for non-science majors (majors should take ASTR 320). Survey of the universe. Stonehenge; solar system; sun, stars and stellar evolution, pulsars; black holes; nebulae; galaxies, quasars, big bang, and expanding universe; search for extraterrestrial life. Opportunity for telescopic observation.

116 Astronomy Laboratory (1) [GE]

Prerequisite: concurrent registration in or completion of ASTR 115. Constellation study, studies of sun, moon, planets, individual and double stars, variable stars, star clusters, and nebulae. Telescopic observations.

170 The Physical Universe (3) [GE]

For course description, see PHYS 170.

240 Planetarium Astronomy (2)

The planetarium as space simulator and teaching tool. Star identification and celestial viewing of moon and planets. Naked eye astronomy. Seasonal relations. Use of campus planetarium and visits to Bay Area planetariums. Useful to prospective teachers and youth leaders.

260 General Astronomy with Laboratory I (4)

Prerequisite: PHYS 220 (preferred) or PHYS 111. The content and dynamics of the solar system; the earth and its motions; lunar phases, eclipses, and tides; physics and dynamics of the planets, asteroids, comets, and interplanetary material; the sun; coordinates and time; astronomical instruments, handling and reduction of astronomical data. Classwork, three units; laboratory, one unit.

320 The Solar System (3)

Prerequisite: PHYS 220 or 111. An introduction to astronomy for the science major. Topics emphasize the description and physical structure of the sun, planets, asteroids, comets, meteorites, and interplanetary material including extensive discussion of direct observation by spacecraft.

321 Observational Astronomy Laboratory (1)

Prerequisite: concurrent registration in or completion of ASTR 320. An introduction to observation with small telescopes. Topics include astronomical coordinates, determination of time, adjustment of equatorial telescopes, astrophotography, astrometry, photographic and photoelectric photometry, and spectroscopy.

330 Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (3) [GE]

Prerequisite: PHYS 230 (preferred) or PHYS 121. Study of the sun as a star, stars and stellar evolution, stellar systems and nebulae, galactic structure, and a survey of exterior galaxies and the large scale structure of the universe.

341 Planetarium Training (1)

Prerequisites: ASTR 115, 116, 240, and consent of instructor. Planetarium operation, programming sky settings, special effects, writing for public and education programs. Each student prepares and presents one original planetarium program. Laboratory. May be repeated for credit.

350 History of Astronomy (3) [GE]

Prerequisites: ASTR 115 or equivalent or consent of instructor. Theories of the cosmos from ancient times to the present. Estimates of size and age of the universe through the ages. Histories of the cosmological principles. Readings from the major figures.

360 General Astronomy with Laboratory II (4)

Prerequisites: ASTR 260, and PHYS 240 (preferred) or PHYS 121. Continuation of ASTR 260 beyond the solar system. Study of the sun as a star, of stars and stellar evolution, of stellar systems and nebulae, of galactic structure, of galaxies, and a survey of cosmology. Classwork, three units; laboratory, one unit.

380 Astrophysics I (4)

Prerequisites: ASTR 260 and 360; PHYS 220, 230, 240, 320, and 360. An introduction to astrophysics. An in-depth physical study of selected astrophysical environments. Emphasis is on dynamics and emission processes. Laboratory on statistical methods and data analysis. Classwork, three units; laboratory, one unit. (Also offered as PHYS 420.)

390 Observational Projects Laboratory (1)

Prerequisites: ASTR 360 and CSC 210 or equivalent experience. The student participates in an on-going observational research project within the department. Techniques to be used may be any of the following: photography, photometry, spectroscopy, image processing, spectrum scanning, interferometry, data analysis, and instrument design and construction. Projects may be in optical, radio, or x-ray astronomy. May be repeated for credit.

410 Galaxies and Cosmology (3)

Prerequisite: PHYS 320; ASTR 330, MATH 376 or 245. Structure, dynamics, composition, and evolution of galaxies. Distribution of material in the universe; the cosmological distance scale and expansion of the universe; quasi-stellar objects; primeval fireball and cosmic background radiation; cosmological models and observational tests.

420 Introduction to Astrophysics (3)

Prerequisites: CSC 210; MATH 376 or 245; PHYS 320; and either ASTR 330 or consent of instructor. Physical processes in astrophysical environments. Examples chosen from stellar atmospheres and interpretation of stellar spectra; interstellar material; stellar structure and energy sources, and/or stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis.

480 Astrophysics II (3)

Prerequisite: ASTR 380. Continuation of ASTR 380. Emphasis on radiative transfer, energy production, stellar models, and physics of the early universe.

490 Seminar in Astronomy (1-3)

Prerequisites: ASTR 260, 360, or consent of instructor. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Specific problems of current interest in astronomy and astrophysics. May be repeated for a maximum of six units.

697 Senior Project (1-3)

Prerequisites: ASTR 390 and senior standing. Continued participation in current observational or theoretical projects under direction of department faculty. The student assumes responsibility for specific observations or calculations and prepares a written report of work accomplished. Culminating experience in the proposed Bachelor of Science in Physics, concentration in Astrophysics.

699 Special Study (1-3)

Prerequisites: approval of the department and of the instructor concerned. For advanced students majoring or minoring in astronomy or astrophysics. Special study in the laboratory, field, or library under the direction of a member of the astronomy faculty. The student must present a written report of the work accomplished to the faculty and to the Department of Physics and Astronomy. May be repeated for a maximum of twelve units.

Course Disciplines Listing, Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified June 28, 1995

SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 13, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu