Let us guess. You're here because you've wanted to be an astronaut since you were seven. (Zero gravity commute? Sign me up!) Or, you're here because you've always wondered why the night sky keeps spinning around no matter how many times you visit the neurologist. And some of you might be here because you're wondering what the stars say about how you'll do on next week's math test.
Well astronomy is here to help. (Except for that last one—for that we suggest studying algebra.) In astronomy we learn all about our planet, our star, and even alien planets orbiting alien stars (which, contrary to popular belief, are not green and do not have antennae.) We study exotic astronomical phenomena: What's a black hole? A wormhole? The Big Bang? And how do we know?
With astronomy—and some help from its most powerful tool, the telescope—we can peer billions of years into the past and chart the history of our universe. And with some help from the predictive modeling that's science's bread and butter, we can even get a glimpse of our universe's future (although no, for the last time, we can not tell you about that math test).
Astronomy helps you answer some questions that hit closer to home, too. Why does it get dark so early in the winter that you die a little inside? Why does the moon expand and contract like a Hollywood starlet on a binge diet? Why and how did you come to exist at all? (It wasn't just because your dad had a twinkle in his eye.)
This course will definitely explain what's in the night sky, and why it spins. And though we can't promise any would-be astronauts a NASA mission patch, astronomy is the first step to a career in Space (even if that career doesn't actually take place in Space).
Get ready to rocket off on a whirlwind tour of astronomy, as we take you through life, the universe…and everything. Astronomy really is that big a tent.