This online course will examine the earliest origins of astronomy, our oldest science. The first half of the course will introduce students to the night sky. Topics covered will include the movements of the Earth and other solar system objects; the phases and cycles of the Moon; the origin of seasons, solstices, equinoxes, and eclipses; constellations and celestial navigation; and how ancient astronomers used their observations in developing civilization’s earliest calendars.
The second half of the course will be a broad survey of the historical development of astronomy from ancient times up to the scientific revolution of the Renaissance Period. Cosmologies from representative cultures around the world will be examined along with significant archaeoastronomy sites including the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, Newgrange, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, Chaco Canyon, the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, and others.
This course is followed by an optional January 2011 fieldtrip to the Yucatan area of Mexico to further study Maya archaeoastronomy.
No prerequisites and it's on the SUNY Learning Network (SLN) even though it's offered through SUNY Ulster County Community College. That means you can take it even if you're a student somewhere else (it's online, you can take it from anywhere in the world!).
If you're interested in learning more, feel free to contact me and if you're interested in registering/costs/etc., contact the SUNY Ulster Registrar's Office at 845-687-5075 or 1-800-724-0833.