Skip Navigation
Distance Learning
Home > Academics > eLearning > Course Formats > Online > ASTR Online Courses > ASTR 114 - Elementary Astronomy Lab

ASTR 114 - Elementary Astronomy Lab

Elementary Astronomy Laboratory a one-semester elementary course in descriptive astronomy, especially appropriate for non-science students. The student will become knowledgeable in the areas of historical astronomy, basic tools and methods of astronomy, earth and celestial body motions, composition and evolution of stars, nature and distribution of galactic systems, role of the space program, and the possibility of life in the universe. For Elementary Astronomy, see ASTR-104.

This course is an Arts and Sciences elective. ASTR-104 and ASTR-114 (a laboratory) will fulfill the laboratory science requirement for transfer to most four-year schools.

Credits:                1
Prerequisites:      Eligible to enroll in Math-070, Pre-or corequisite:  ASTR-104.
Instructor:           Rebecca Carmody
Division Office:     ST 248

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Materials

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Identify and address their alternate concepts (misconceptions) in astronomy.
  • Apply basic astronomy principles to explain practical astronomy applications.
  • Interpret astronomical facts and principles.
  • Apply astronomy principles to solve simple problems.
  • Intelligently discuss contemporary topics in astronomy such as Life in the Universe, U.S. Space Program, etc., found in newspaper and magazine articles (TV shows like NOVA) which deal with astronomy.
  • Identify basic operational principles of the primary types of light telescopes.
  • Develop a sense of the size of things in astronomy as well as distances (e.g. between planets, between stars, etc.).

Top of Page

Major Course Topics

List the major topics

  • Overview of Astronomy
  • Motions in the Sky, Stellar Location and Celestial Coordinate Systems
  • Basic Terminology and Mathematical Measurement Techniques for Astronomy
  • Basic Light Concepts As Applied to Astronomy, e.g., Light Properties, Spectroscopy, etc.
  • Telescopes and Their Use in Visible and Invisible Astronomy
  • Non-Telescope Astronomical Observations, e.g., Lunar Phases, Eclipses, Occultations, etc.
  • Stars and Galaxies
  • Magnitude, Distances, Motions, Spectra and Classification of the Stars
  • Stellar Types, Composition, and Evolution of Stars
  • Galaxies and Interstellar Medium
  • Active Galaxies Cosmology -The Origin, Structure, and Evolution of the Universe
  • Life in the Universe (possibly)

Top of Page

Course Format
  • The course is not self-paced.  Each week, students will complete learning activities in the program Starry Night and submit therir answes by completing an on-line quiz in Canvas..
  • Does not require on-campus meetings except for Orientation.
  • Does not require real-time chats.

Top of Page


This course does have a face-to-face orientation.  See myHCC for the date, time, and location of the on-campus orientation.

Top of Page

Course Requirements
  • Review "Is eLearning Right for You?" on the eLearning webpage.
  • Students will complete 14 Laboratory exercises using the program Starry Night and submit their answers to the Laboratory exercises via an on-line quiz in Canvas..

Top of Page


Students will need to purchase an access code at the HCC bookstore that will allow them to download the program Starry Night onto their PC or Macintosh computer.

There is no textbook for ASTR-114, however, the instructor will sometimes refer to the ASTR-104 textbook in the laboratory instructions.

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Acrobat Viewer
  • Flash
  • (Google) Chrome or the latest version of Firefox.
  • PowerPoint Viewer
  • Windows Media Player
  • Word Viewer
  • Microsoft Word for homework, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Office

Top of Page

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Rebecca Carmody,

Last updated on 10-Junet-14 © Howard Community College, 2000

Student Profile - Maribel