Night Astronomy Course Description


Course Outline for Night Astronomy 2016-17


Instructor:  Scott Kindt

Text Book:  Skywatching + Online Text materials

Room:         212 Berthoud High School

Schedule:    Monday night 6:00-10:00 pm

Web Page


Phone          (970) 613-7743


Night Astronomy is a district magnet course for students interested in learning about Astronomy and the night sky.  In this course we will be using the Little Thompson Observatory to observe and study celestial objects in the night sky.   Some topics of study include: stars, galaxies, nebula, and solar system objects.    We will also use binoculars, smaller telescopes, and a CCD camera to take digital astrophotos of celestial objects.



Course Objectives


1. Learn the basic constellations of the night sky.

2. Learn how to operate a telescope and identify celestial objects.

3. Kepler’s Laws and Universal Gravitation.

4. Historical astronomy & space exploration.

5. The Solar System & Solar Physics

6. Stars: Nuclear Fusion, H-R Diagrams, Stellar Life Cycles

5. Galaxies & Cosmology    


Grading Scale & Point Distribution

100%-90% A      89%-80% B      79%-70% C       69%-60% D      59%-0 F


50% from 4 exams 390 points.

25% from observing logs or in class activities 195 points.

25 % on line assignments 195 points.


All observing logs must be completed in class.  If you miss a class, there will be a public star night at the observatory the third Friday of each month.  Participating in this public star night can substitute for your observing log.  These public star nights begin at 7:15 and more information is available at:


The online assignments are found at under Night Astronomy.  All assignments are due the following class after they are assigned and will only be taken 1 week late for a 50% point reduction.




Course Outline


Unit 1  Amateur Astronomy

            Assignment 1 Telescopes (15 points)

            Assignment 2 Star Charts & constellations (15 points)

            Assignment 3 Celestial objects (15 points)

            Constellation Quiz (30 points)

Unit 1 Exam 100 points


Unit 2 Astrophotography

            Assignment #4 Astrophotography (15 points)


Unit 3 Space Exploration

            Assignment #5  Seeing the universe through different eyes  EM Spectrum (15pts)

            Assignment #6 Space Exploration Sputnik to present (15 points)

            Unit 3 Test 60 points


Unit 4 The Solar System

            Assignment #7 Historical Astronomy (15 points)

            Assignment #8 Earth-Sun-Moon System  (15 points)

            Assignment #9 The Sun & Solar Cycles  Space Weather (15 points)

            Assignment #10 The Planets & Science Illustration (15 points)

            Unit 4 Exam 100 Points


Unit 5 Astrophysics

            Assignment #11 Properties of Stars Nuclear Fusion  (15 points)

            Assignment #12 Life cycle of stars H-R diagrams (15 points)

            Assignment #13 Galaxies & the Expanding Universe (15 points)

            Final Exam 100 points



























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