SCI 151  -  Astronomy

The University of Phoenix

John Ensworth
May/June 2013

Ground Class  -- Fort Collins Learning Center,  CO  May 22nd  to June 19th, 2013

Syllabus                  Word2K format   PDF Format

Instructor Policies  Word2K format   PDF Format

Other Optional Course Resources:

We will try to schedule a night under the stars during this semester. 
Check back here for details. 

You may attend local planetarium shows at  The Fisk Planetarium, Boulder 
Denver Museum of Nature and Science , Denver

Other planetariums great and small...



Harry Zacheis Planetarium and Obs.


Aspen High School Planetarium


Scott Carpenter Planetarium

Colorado Springs

Steele Planetarium


Fort Collins Museum

Fort Collins

Fort Lupton High School Planetarium

Fort Lupton

Western Sky Planetarium

Grand Junction

Robert H. Johnson Planetarium


Lamar High School Planetarium


Central High School Planetarium


Christa McAuliffe Planetarium


USAF Academy Planetarium

USAF Academy


In the event of snow...
please check your automated message service (you'll be notified by 4pm of the day of class)

or call 
303.755.9090  for Colorado campi

For weather details, visit Denver Weather


Astronomy Links

John's Book and Software List (doc file)

John's IOS App Favorites List (doc file)

Free Planispheres you can print and assemble.  One  Two  --- And a nice interactive one from NASA

The Bad Astronomer Blog (Phil Plait)

Astronomy FM - Internet Radio Station 24 hours

I strongly recommend for stories and current data as well!

 UniverseToday A guide to the sky all year!
(They don't seem to be creating the books available below anymore.)

From Previous years: What's Up in 2006 and What's Up in 2007 - 400+page, 14mb PDF file

A great (but old, mid-80's) manual for finding easy Deep Space Objects.

Class Notes

Opening "Powers of Ten" Video


Lecture 1 - Week 1   Observational Astronomy, Astrology, Lunar phases, the History of Astronomy   

                                Power Point Version                                         Adobe Acrobat Version                   
10 mb                                                                      4mb      
It is best to Right Click, Save Target As... (in Windows)                                                              
  Then run Power Point  

        2hr 8min  (click image)    

Lecture 2 - Week 2   The Planets and stuff      

                                    Power Point Version                                           Adobe Acrobat Version            
It is best to Right Click, Save Target As... (in Windows)                                                               
    Then run Power Point  

      1hr 30min  (click image)     

Lecture 3 - Week 3   Light, Atom, The Sun, Stars and Black Holes      

                                  Power Point Version                                                  Adobe Acrobat Version          
15 mb                                                                                11mb      
It is best to Right Click, Save Target As... (in Windows)                                                              
       Then run Power Point  

       2hr 3min  (click image)     

Lecture 4 - Week 4   Galaxies, The Large Scale Structure of the Universe, The Big Bang, GUTs and Time Travel  

                                       Power Point Version                                            Adobe Acrobat Version                    

                        22 mb                                                                                 19mb 
It is best to Right Click, Save Target As... (in Windows)                                                                 
Then run Power Point  

    2hr 10min  (click image)  (based on previous version of slides)     

Lecture 5 - Week 5   Life Elsewhere in the Universe, Interstellar Travel, Astronomy as a Career    

                                Power Point Version                                         Adobe Acrobat Version                

                                    19  mb                                                                  7mb                   
It is best to Right Click, Save Target As... (in Windows)                                                                             
Then run Power Point  

         34 min  (click image)   (based on previous version of slides) 

Final Paper Topic Suggestions:
Time Travel 
Is Astrology Real? 

Does the full moon make people loony? Are there more babies or crimes (911 calls) on full moon nights? 
History of the telescope
What do we know about other solar systems?
What will it take to get a human colony on the Moon? or Mars?
 Life on Jupiter's Moon Europa? Saturn's Moon Enceladus?
The astronomy (good or bad)  behind the sci-fi move/TV show "fill in the blank"
The planet of your choice
Exoplanets - how many and what is being discovered?
Is Pluto a planet?
New Planets in the Solar System
Mega-solar storms - what has happened, what could happen? 
 Planetariums in history, in the present, and the future?
The Beginning of the Universe - Explorations of the Cosmic Background Radiation - The End of the Universe? 
 What is the state of the Unification of the Forces?  What are Theories of Everything?
What is Dark Energy? Dark Matter? 
How may the Universe End? 
 What are the job prospects in Astronomy? 
What is the economics of astronomy...who pays and how much and for what? 
What is the history of ...the telescope? exploration? borne observation platforms? 
What alternatives to the Big Bang exist? 
What are Black Holes? What would it be like falling into one?

...or whatever else you like!

This page last updates: 07/22/2014

By John Ensworth