Fall 2019 - PHYS 190 D100

Introduction to Astronomy (3)

Class Number: 1314

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    WMC 3520, Burnaby

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SSCC 9001, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2019
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    SSCB 9201, Burnaby



A survey of astronomy designed primarily for non-science students, with a strong emphasis on active learning outside the classroom. Covers the development of astronomy from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance, to the modern view of the cosmos as revealed by the scientific method. Topics include naked-eye observation of the night sky, modern observational equipment and techniques, the solar system, stellar evolution, galaxies, the Hubble expansion, the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, and startling new theories of the origin and destiny of the universe. Experiential activities involve active observations of the moon, stars and planets, and introductory experiments in some of the basic physics that astronomers use to explore the cosmos. Students who have received credit for PHYS 121, 126, or 141 may not take PHYS 190 for further credit. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.


  1. The view from Earth: Observational fundamentals of astronomy.
  2. The ancient mystery of planetary motion and the birth of the scientific method.
  3. More physics essentials for astronomers: The nature of light and matter.
  4. Astronomical tools from basic to state-of-the-art.
  5. Our solar system: Origins and properties of the planets, moons, and the Sun.
  6. A survey of other stars and solar systems.
  7. The lives of stars.
  8. Galaxies and other large-scale structure in the universe.
  9. The origin and destiny of the cosmos.

Students typically attend 5 lab periods that are spread out over the semester, each requiring about 80 minutes.


  • Assignments 12.5%
  • Labs (5) 12.5%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 50%



Required Text:
Custom/PKG  ASTRO w/custom Coursemate access code
Publisher: Nelson education
ISBN: 9780176742423

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students who cannot write their exam during the course's scheduled exam time must request accommodation from their instructor in writing, clearly stating the reason for this request, before the end of the first week of classes.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html