Earth & Planetary Sciences

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Program Update

We have been approved for A.S. Astronomy degree. Beginning Spring 2017, students may graduate from SBCC with a degree in Astronomy!

Program Description 

We are a small department of two full time faculty and several adjuncts that teach classes on campus, labs at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Planetarium, provide tutoring via Gateway services, and sponsor the SBCC Astronomy Club. We enthusiastically welcome you!

Class Descriptions

ERTH 101 Introductory Astronomy- Non-mathematical presentation of our knowledge of the universe. Includes birth and death of stars, formation of the solar system, black holes, quasars, the fourth dimension and the fate of the universe. Also considered are common phenomena such as eclipses, the motion of the planets and their moons, comets, and meteors. 

ERTH 102  Observational Astronomy Laboratory - Emphasizes nighttime observation of the stars, galaxies and constellations with real-time observations. Simulation programs are used to graphically examine astronomical phenomena. Celestial navigation, motions of the earth and moon, and study of the celestial sphere emphasized.

ERTH 103 A,B,C Advanced Observational Astronomy Laboratory - Follow-up course to ERTH 102. Use of planetarium and observatory to illustrate constellations, celestial motions, and to observe stars, planets and deep sky objects. Emphasis for continuing students is on stars and constellations of the seasonal sky, use of larger and more advanced telescopes, and in-depth observations of deep sky objects of the seasonal sky. 

ERTH 104 Introductory Astrophysics - Introductory astronomy course that integrates mathematics of physics in the study of objects in the universe.

ERTH 105 Topics in Astronomy - Designed for students wanting to go beyond the regular introductory astronomy courses. Lectures, discussions, guest speakers, activities and field trips help students explore specific topics in physics and astronomy. Different topics are offered different semesters and may include planetary exploration, the space station and other space missions, new solar systems, astrobiology, relativity, cosmology, black holes, quasars, dark matter, etc. 

ERTH 106 Black Holes and the Universe - Basic introduction to relativity, cosmology, quantum mechanics, string theory, black holes, time travel, higher dimensions and other abstract theories of the universe. Provides students with a broad-based overview of these physics theories and allows them to explore various current topics in astronomy.


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