AAA Fall Astronomy Class: Astronomy Basics – October-November 2015

A survey of the basics of astronomy.  Introduces celestial events that the ancients knew well and reviews their modern explanations.  Themes include the motions of the Earth and the Moon, constellations, objects in the Solar System, the seasons, stars, and galaxies, and key historical figures in western astronomy.

Wednesday, Sept 30Earth, Stars, and Constellations: hierarchy of objects beyond Earth, Powers of Ten video, rotation of the Earth, the North Star, constellations and asterisms

Wednesday, Oct 14The Planets: the five ancient “wanderers”, major and minor planets, the “demotion” of Pluto, retrograde motion, the Ecliptic, the Zodiac, nebular hypothesis

Wednesday, Oct 21 The Moon: phases of the Moon, eclipses, tides, elliptical orbits, why one side of the Moon always faces Earth

Wednesday,  Oct 28The Solar System: measurements of astronomical distances, reason for the seasons, inventory of the Solar System, asteroids, meteors, comets,  comparative sizes

Wednesday, Nov 11 Stars and Galaxies: atomic fusion, star sizes & classes, the H-R diagram, the Milky Way, nebulae, other galaxies

Wednesday, Nov 18 – Historical Figures in Astronomy: geocentric model vs heliocentric model, Brahe, Kepler and the laws of planetary motion, Galileo’s five major discoveries


Time:  classes start at 6:30 PM and go until 8:30 PM.

Location: all classes are held at Cicatelli Center, 505 8th Ave, at 35th St. in Manhattan, 20th Floor.

Instructor: David Kiefer
David Kiefer holds various Masters degrees, including a M.S. in astronomy from the Center for Astrophysics and Supercomputing in Melbourne, Australia.  He has taught physics and astronomy at colleges in New York and New Jersey,  and is presently a lecturer at City College and at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York.  A member of the AAA, Mr. Kiefer observes regularly at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

Registration:  Class is full. Registration closed.

Registration Fee: $60, members only. If you are not an AAA member yet, please become a member first.