Astronomy Program Welcome

Whether you want to major or minor in Astronomy or are just interested in the stars, planets, and galaxies, we have something for you! Come to our public planetarium shows! We give six shows a year, each by a different member of our astronomy faculty. Right after the show, we have an open house on the roof where many of our telescopes are available for viewing the planets and stars. The view through our 16" telescope of the VSU Observatory is spectacular. Come join us and bring your friends and family.

If you major or minor in Astronomy, you will take a series of upper division courses which address all aspects of modern astronomy, from instrumentation to the origin of the universe.

We also offer courses for the non-science major which can satisfy core requirements for a laboratory or non-lab science:

ASTR 1000 "Exploring the Universe" is a non-lab introduction to astronomy for non-majors. You get a little of everything in this class: stars, planets, galaxies, cosmology, and the fundamental forces of nature. We guarantee that you will finish the course with a new perspective on the world around you and the universe we live in.

ASTR 1010K "The Solar System" is a laboratory course which delves into solar system topics more deeply than does

ASTR 1000. The lab meets one night a week. You will learn your way around the sky (directions, constellations, planets, phases of the moon) and you will use telescopes to observe double stars, star clusters, star forming clouds, and galaxies. In addition, indoor laboratory exercises will help you develop sky-mapping skills, and you'll use real data to plot the paths of meteor showers, measure the temperature of stars, and even plan a trip to Mars. 

ASTR 1020K "Stars and Galaxies" is a laboratory course which concentrates on astronomy beyond the solar system.

ASTR 1010K is not a pre-requisite for this course. The lab meets one night a week.  Besides learning your way around the sky and observing stars and galaxies with telescopes, you will investigate the nature of light.

ASTR 2010 "Tools of Astronomy" is an introduction to observational techniques and is open to either the major or non-major. You will learn how to use the 16" telescope as well as other equipment. 

ASTR 2020 "The Planetarium" course will train you how to use the VSU planetarium and prepare you for giving real planetarium shows for visiting groups, especially for elementary, middle, and high school audiences. If you plan to teach on any level, this course will be particularly useful to you.