Fall 2020 Course Offerings
The following is a list of all undergraduate courses offered in the Astronomy Department for Fall 2020.
For more detailed information, including syllabus, video introductions, or to search for course listings by semester, please use Yale Course Search.
ASTR 040 - Expanding Ideas of Time and Space
Discussions on astronomy, and the nature of time and space. Topics include the shape and contents of the universe, special and general relativity, dark and light matter, and dark energy. Observations and ideas fundamental to astronomers’ current model of an expanding and accelerating four-dimensional universe.
Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
ASTR 110 - Planets and Stars
Astronomy introduction to stars and planetary systems. Topics include the solar system and extrasolar planets, planet and stellar formation, and the evolution of stars from birth to death.
No prerequisite other than a working knowledge of elementary algebra.
ASTR 155 - Introduction to Astronomical Observing
A hands-on introduction to techniques used in astronomy to observe astronomical objects. Observations of planets, stars, and galaxies using on-campus facilities and remote observing with Yale’s research telescopes. Use of electronic detectors and computer-aided data processing.
Evening laboratory hours required. One previous college-level science laboratory or astronomy course recommended.
ASTR 180 - Introduction to Relativity and Black Holes
Introduction to the theories of special and general relativity, and to relativistic astronomy and astrophysics. Topics include time dilation and length contraction; mass-energy equivalence; space-time curvature; black holes; wormholes; pulsars; quasars; gravitational waves; Hawking radiation. For students not majoring in the physical sciences; some previous acquaintance with high-school physics and/or calculus may be helpful, but is not required.
ASTR 210 - Stars and Their Evolution
Foundations of astronomy and astrophysics, focusing on an intensive introduction to stars. Nuclear processes and element production, stellar evolution, stellar deaths and supernova explosions, and stellar remnants including white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. A close look at our nearest star, the sun. How extrasolar planets are studied; the results of such studies.
Prerequisite: a strong background in high school calculus and physics. May not be taken after ASTR 220.
ASTR 255 - Research Methods in Astrophysics
An introduction to research methods in astronomy and astrophysics. The acquisition and analysis of astrophysical data, including the design and use of ground- and space-based telescopes, computational manipulation of digitized images and spectra, and confrontation of data with theoretical models. Examples taken from current research at Yale and elsewhere. Use of the Python programming language.
Prerequisite: background in high school calculus and physics. No previous programming experience required.
ASTR 320 - Physical Processes in Astronomy
Introduction to the physics required for understanding current astronomical problems. Topics include basic equations of stellar structure, stellar and cosmic nucleosynthesis, radiative transfer, gas dynamics, and stellar dynamics. Numerical methods for solving these equations.
Prerequisites: MATH 120 and PHYS 201 or equivalents, or permission of instructor. Previous experience with computer programming recommended.
ASTR 420 - Computational Methods for Astrophysics
The analytic, numerical, and computational tools necessary for effective research in astrophysics and related disciplines. Topics include numerical solutions to differential equations, spectral methods, and Monte Carlo simulations. Applications to common astrophysical problems including fluids and N-body simulations.
Prerequisites: ASTR 320, MATH 120, 222 or 225, and 246.
ASTR 450 - Stellar Astrophysics
The physics of stellar atmospheres and interiors. Topics include the basic equations of stellar structure, nuclear processes, stellar evolution, white dwarfs, and neutron stars.
Prerequisites: PHYS 201 and MATH 120.