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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York | Evaluated Learning Experience

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Astronomy- Introduction to Cosmology (AS101)


Version 1 and 2: 47.5 hours.

Various, distance learning format.

Version 1: September 2017 – January 2023. Version 2: February 2023 - Present.

Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: define and classify cosmic objects; analyze different cosmological theories; reconstruct the development of cosmological theories from pre-scientific epochs to modern times; identify the challenges associated with the scientific approach to cosmological models; explore different astrophysical objects and determine their nature; interpret the distance scales in the Universe; examine the nature of stars and their evolution; develop awareness of the size scales in the Universe; recognize the contribution of Ordinary matter, Dark Matter and Dark Energy and develop a sense of their contribution the evolution of Universe; appraise the evolution of the models of cosmology as a function of the historical technological developments; and describe how the Universe and its structures form and evolve into the Universe in ways that are observable today.


Version 1 and 2: Instruction is offered online through video lectures, study guides, required and supplemental readings, quizzes, homework, and final exams. Major topics include: basic concepts of finite light travel time, cosmic distance scales, overview of the cosmic history, pre-Socratic philosophers, world models, Aristotle Universe, Ptolemy’s Epicycles, elliptical orbits, Kepler’s Laws, semi-major axis and period of orbit, equal areas law, Newton’s Laws, concepts of calculus, effects of gravity, tides, the solar system, planets, planet’s composition, inner planets, and outplanets, atmosphere of Mars, ancient Martian landscape, space exploration, nearest stars, Europa’s oceans, Jupiter’s moons, telescopes, refractors, reflectors, the electromagnetic spectrum, telescopes in space and on the ground, colors, wavelength, frequency, speed of light, refraction, emission lines, absorption lines, spectra of stars black body radiation, structure of the Sun, pp-chain, nuclear fusion, star formation, nuclear fission, neutron stars, black holes, supernovae, hr-diagram, stellar population’s cepheids, distances, nebulae, galaxies, the Milky Way, galaxy evolution, mergers, stellar ages in galaxies, star formation in galaxies, basics of theory of special and general relativity, reference frames, spacetime, Lorentz transformations, black holes, curvature, Holbers’ paradox, Hubble’s Law, redshift, static vs. expanding Universe clash, distant quasars, supermassive black-holes, AGN, Hubble time, and M-sigma relation, energy density pie chart, dark matter, structure formation, dark energy, SN Ia as standard candles, accelerated expansion, The Big Bang Theory, primordial universe composition, CMB, temperature of the Universe, Plank’s Time, and recombination.

Credit recommendation: 

Version 1: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Introduction to Astronomy, Cosmology, or as a General Science Elective (2/18). Version 2: In the associate/certificate degree category OR in the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Introduction to Astronomy, Cosmology, or as a General Science Elective (2/23 revalidation).