This is a low-vision and blind accessible adaptation of the OpenStax Astronomy textbook (.doc files). This was adapted for use with screen readers and to include essential images with alt-text and high contrast images added. Some text and chapters were removed to fit a single semester course. Word documents are used to allow for easy accessibility and the content should be legible even at 400% zoom.
Astronomy is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of one- or two-semester introductory astronomy courses. The book begins with relevant scientific fundamentals and progresses through an exploration of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. The Astronomy textbook builds student understanding through the use of relevant analogies, clear and non-technical explanations, and rich illustrations. Mathematics is included in a flexible manner to meet the needs of individual instructors.
These labs were created for Astronomy students with both low-vision and low-mobility. Images have alt-text and have high contrast. Word docs are used for ease of screen readers and reuse.
The spring 2017 syllabus for the General Astronomy Course (AST 110), developed as part of the textbook free courseware initiative at Borough of Manhattan Community College.
This course provides an introduction to the universe beyond the Earth. We begin with a study of the night sky and the history of the science of astronomy. We then explore the various objects seen in the cosmos including the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the evolution of the universe itself. As an online course, it is equivalent to 6 lecture hours, and satisfies science requirements for the AA and AS degree. It is designed to be thorough enough to prepare you for more advanced work, while presenting the concepts to non-majors in a way that is meaningful and not overwhelming. We will consider the course a success if you have learned how to think about the universe critically in an organized, logical way, and to have enhanced your appreciation of the sky around us.
" This class explores the creation (and creativity) of the modern scientific and cultural world through study of western Europe in the 17th century, the age of Descartes and Newton, Shakespeare, Milton and Ford. It compares period thinking to present-day debates about the scientific method, art, religion, and society. This team-taught, interdisciplinary subject draws on a wide range of literary, dramatic, historical, and scientific texts and images, and involves theatrical experimentation as well as reading, writing, researching and conversing. The primary theme of the class is to explore how England in the mid-seventeenth century became "a world turned upside down" by the new ideas and upheavals in religion, politics, and philosophy, ideas that would shape our modern world. Paying special attention to the "theatricality" of the new models and perspectives afforded by scientific experimentation, the class will read plays by Shakespeare, Tate, Brecht, Ford, Churchill, and Kushner, as well as primary and secondary texts from a wide range of disciplines. Students will also compose and perform in scenes based on that material."
A dynamically simplified solar system is constructed from online data to explore the real solar system on many different scales.
The realistically scaled solar system is surprising because nothing is visible due to the presence of many different scales. That is why it is usually rescaled in animations or illustrations. This is nice but gives us a wrong sense of distances and sizes. This Demonstration is intended to show the solar system's different scales in their full glory.
Since it is hardly possible to see anything when the real scales are used, controls have been added to modify the sizes of the celestial bodies.
This book is a journey through the world of physics and cosmology, and an exploration of our role in this universe. We will address questions such as: What if the force of gravity were a little stronger? What if there were more of fewer atoms in our universe? What if Newton and not Einstein had been right? Would we still be here? Can the universe exist without us to observe it? Can chance explain the world around us, as well as us?
The purpose of this book is to phrase these questions and pursue the consequences of potential answers through rigorous scientific reasoning; in the process we will learn how the very small and the very large are interconnected, and even how we can affect events that happened six billion years ago.
Licensed CC-BY-4.0 with attribution instructions on page 2 of the document.
Table of Contents
The fundamental forces 10
The force of gravity 18
What if … the force of gravity were different? 23
The electric and magnetic forces 26
The electric force 27
What if … the electric force were different? 39
The magnetic force 48
What if … the magnetic force were different? 58
The strong and weak forces 59
What if … ? 65
How do forces work? 74
The history of the universe 85
What if … ? 94
The history of our species 106
The building blocks of the universe 128
What if … ? 140
Dark energy 150
What if … dark matter were more interesting? 159
When you do not look…. 162
Manifestations of the wave nature of matter 169
The delayed choice experiment: Affecting the past 186
What if … ? 191
The story so far 195
Unification and our role 199
The Multiverse and aliens 226
The laws of physics 234
The Anthropic Principle and Puddle Theory 237
Post mortem 249
Further reading and chapter notes 251
"2010 marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo's astonishing sightings of features on the moon, stars, and moons around Jupiter that no one had seen before. Recreate these new ways of seeing and exploring from the materials and techniques Galileo had on hand, while you reflect on the times and works of Galileo. What was it like to improvise new ways of seeing and exploring from the materials and techniques on hand? What do we notice? What surprises us? How can we relate to past experience and ideas? What are we curious to research? How does our experimenting grow into our learning? Let your own curiosity drive your explorations."
This guide describes a novel project structure for sky observations commonly assigned in introductory level astronomy students at either the high school or undergraduate level. The project is an outside class assignment optimized for a large course that meets during the day. The goal of this activity is for students to make independent observations at a fixed time of day to develop an understanding of: (1) how annual motion of the Earth relates to observed position of the Sun as it sets towards the West; and (2) changes in the Moon phase over the lunar month and how the phase of the Moon relates to its position in the sky relative to the Sun. Students synthesize their understanding by responding to summary questions at the conclusion of the project. The questions require students to use their collection of observations to make predictions about future sunset and Moon positions and Moon phases.
A critical component of this work is an associated scoring script, available through GitHub. The algorithm uses Sun and Moon position data and Moon phase data downloaded by the user from the United States Naval Observatory to score student input and provide feedback in an efficient manner. This allows instructors to assign and grade student observations even in a large university class.
This is an introduction to the study of the solar system with emphasis on the latest spacecraft results. The subject covers basic principles rather than detailed mathematical and physical models. Topics include: an overview of the solar system, planetary orbits, rings, planetary formation, meteorites, asteroids, comets, planetary surfaces and cratering, planetary interiors, planetary atmospheres, and life in the solar system.
The emergence of Western science: the systematization of natural knowledge in the ancient world, the transmission of the classical legacy to the Latin West, and the revolt from classical thought during the scientific revolution. Examines scientific concepts in light of their cultural and historical contexts.