Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

Course Description

Walking up and down the hallways of Davey Lab at Penn State, you can find astronomers searching for and characterizing exoplanets, monitoring supernovae and other exploding stars, and measuring the details of the accelerating expansion of the Universe to determine the nature of dark energy. In Astro 801, we learn that with only the ability to measure the light from these distant, unreachable objects, we can still determine how the Solar System, stars, galaxies, and the Universe formed and evolved since the Big Bang. We are all citizens of the Universe, and in fact, you are made of starstuff. Come learn where the atoms in your body came from, and what will happen to them long after we are gone.

This course is part of the following program: Master of Education in Earth Sciences.

Online Course

You can view the entire course here: Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (ASTRO 801)

Download Course Files

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Chris Palma

My name is Christopher Palma, and I have a great interest in astronomy. My passion for studying space began when I was in elementary school and continues today. I grew up in New Jersey, but made my way to Pennsylvania to start formally studying astronomy and astrophysics as an undergraduate at Penn State in 1990. What won me over to Penn State was a brochure they sent to prospective students pointing out that Penn State at the time operated the largest telescope east of the Mississippi. At that time, my knowledge of astronomy (and meteorology) was pretty basic, and I had no idea that central Pennsylvania is a pretty awful place for an observatory, given our fraction of nights with clear skies.