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ASTRONOMY 20 (The Solar System)

3 units; 3 hours lecture
Recommended Preparation: eligibility for English 2R Credit, degree applicable Transfer CSU, UC

This course is an introduction to the major planets and the smaller members of the Solar System such as moons, asteroids, Kuiper Belt Objects, and comets. Theories of the origin and histories of the planets are presented. The early history of astronomy and the Copernican Revolution are discussed. Sky phenomena such as the constellations, the seasons, eclipses, and planetary motions are demonstrated in the planetarium. The possibility of life elsewhere in the solar system is examined.

Shows the Earth rotating around the sun

The seasons of the Northern Hemisphere

When the N. Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun (June 22), the sun's light shines directly down on the earth making it warmer in the summer. When the N. Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun (Dec 22), its rays strike the earth at a grazing angle with less intensity making it cooler in the winter.  The seasons would be reversed for the Southern Hemisphere.

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 Last Published 4/26/11