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 ASTR-104 & Math-070.
Instructor:         Rebecca Carmody
Division Office:   ST 248
Email:                 rcarmody@howardcc.edu

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

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able t

  • 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
  • Is not self-paced (deadlines), Laboratory Reports are submitted regularly by Canvas e-mail with deadlines.
  • Does not require on-campus meetings except for Orientation.
  • Does not require real-time chats.

Top of Page


This course does not have a face-to-face orientation.

Top of Page

Course Requirements
  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the Distance Learning Homepage.
  • There are 14 Laboratory experiments from “Virtual Astronomy Laboratory” which will be given to you at orientation and must be returned to Distance Learning.

Top of Page


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

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

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

  • Acrobat Viewer
  • Flash
  • Internet Explorer
  • 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


For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has four proctored exams, including a final exam, at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Rebecca Carmody, rcarmody@howardcc.edu

Last updated on 10-Oct-07 © Howard Community College, 2000

Student Profile - Maribel