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Astronomy

Student in laboratory lecture

Observe More When You Look at the Night’s Sky

The astronomy online courses offered at LASC will introduce you to scientific framework, including the history of astronomical observations and discoveries. Astronomy is the oldest field in science that reaches back to the construction of Stonehenge in 3,100 BCE. Astronomy teaches us the laws of physics which explain the existence, composition, and dynamics of the galaxies, stars, planets, and other celestial debris, and how we observe space.

LASC’s astronomy courses explain the combined roles of physics, mathematics, chemistry, geology, and biology within the existence of the known universe.

Although, LASC does not offer an Astronomy degree or certificate, if you take both the ASTRO 001 lecture and ASTRO 005 laboratory together, you will have four transferable credits that are accepted by the UC and CSU systems. Thus, the foundation in science you gain from LASC’s astronomy courses can take you on a journey to further your studies in several astronomical sub-disciplines, such as astrophysics, cosmology, solar astronomy, planetary science, stellar astronomy, as well as in Earth sciences and geology. You can also use these courses to pursue physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, geography, biology, as well as non-scientific fields such as, history, philosophy, or law. 

Careers in Astronomy

Astronomers don’t only observe objects in the universe, but also help ensure cellular and GPS satellites get into our outer orbit successfully, build supercomputers to track large amounts of data, and even help to improve medical imaging tools through creating better technology to process an image with multiple telescopes. 

Here are a few professions and their salaries you could have with a career in astronomy: 

Career information below taken from bls.gov November 2019. Go to bls.gov for most current career information.

Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $115,220/year $55.39/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 2% increase
(slower than average)
67,200

Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact.

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Doctoral or Professional Degree $119,580/year $57.49/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 9% increase
(faster than average)
21,600

Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes.

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Doctoral or Professional Degree $93,280/year $44.85/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 6% increase
(as fast as average)
30,400

Courses offered in Astronomy at LASC

The Elementary Astronomy course fulfills the requirements for general education and transfer to CSU-GE and UC_GE. To find other science courses that fulfill the GE transfer, go to the LASC’s Course Catalog for specific course information:

1 Elementary Astronomy (3) UC:CSU

CSUGE Area B1 
Lecture: 3 hours 

A fascinating look into the general principles and the fundamental facts of astronomy. This introductory course is designed for the non-technical student. Topics covered include the history and science of astronomy, the solar system, our sun, stars, galaxies and cosmology. No college math preparation is needed. If a student wishes to transfer this as a lab science course, the student must also complete Astronomy 5. 

5 Fundamentals of Astronomy Laboratory (1) UC:CSU 

CSUGE Area B3 
Lab: 3 hours 

This course provides the digital laboratory work to accompany or follow Astronomy 1. Astronomy 5 laboratory course offers an introductory presentation of the methods and techniques used by astronomers to determine the nature of the universe. This course uses some very basic mathematics and can be taken by non-science and/or science majors. When taken together with either Astronomy 001, a student's 'science with a lab' transfer and graduation requirement is met. Laboratory involves reading graphs, analyzing data, and making calculations and projecting outcomes based on astronomical results received from virtual tools, such as celestial sphere, sky charts, telescopes, spectroscopes, and photometer. The course requires self-organized field trip for observations of the sky, either outside of your home or at astronomical observatory.

 

Learn More about Astronomy

If you find you want to pursue an astronomy degree, talk with your counselor about the requirements to transfer to a four-year college or university offering an astronomy program. You can also find out more at our Transfer Center.