L&S Curricular Connections

L&S Discovery Courses

Alex Filippenko looking up at solar eclipse

LS C70U / Astronomy C10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Physical Science

This course is designed to provide, for both non-science and science majors, a description of the fantastic Universe in which we live. We cover the structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the cosmos as a whole, gaining insights into amazing objects like quasars, exploding stars, neutron stars, and black holes. Recent newsworthy events such as the detection of planets around other stars, the possible evidence of primitive life on Mars, and the discovery of gravitationally repulsive “dark energy” are also featured. Major themes include our origins (such as the origin of the chemical elements, stars, planets, and life), the methods by which astronomers investigate and eventually understand various aspects of the Universe, the scientific unification of many seemingly disparate phenomena, and the excitement felt by astronomers doing groundbreaking research on some of the most far-out topics imaginable. This course will inspire students to become more inquisitive about the world around them, and will develop their skills in arriving at conclusions based on logical, physical reasoning.

Terms Offered

  • Fall 2023
  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2022
  • Fall 2020
  • Fall 2019
  • Fall 2018
  • Fall 2017
  • Fall 2016
  • Fall 2015
  • Spring 2015
  • Spring 2014
  • Spring 2013
  • Fall 2011
  • Fall 2010
  • Fall 2009
  • Fall 2008
  • Fall 2007
  • Fall 2006
  • Fall 2005
Alex Filippenko faculty profile
Alex Filippenko (Astronomy)

Distinguished Teaching Award; Donald Sterling Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; Case Professor of the Year; Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Richard H. Emmons Award for excellence in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors