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University adds astronomy minor

The Academic Council has approved a new astronomy minor for the department of physics and astronomy.

According to Dr. Spencer Buckner, associate professor of physics, the minor is designed for the avid amateur astronomer and does not require a science background.
The Academic Council has approved a new astronomy minor for the department of physics and astronomy.

According to Dr. Spencer Buckner, associate professor of physics, the minor is designed for the “avid amateur astronomer” and does not require a science background.

“The most math that any of the new courses require is college algebra,” says Buckner. “The minor is 19 credit hours and includes the two introductory astronomy courses—‘Planetary Astronomy' and ‘Stellar Astronomy'—along with ‘Observational Astronomy,' ‘History of Astronomy,' ‘Cosmology' and ‘Astrophotography and Image Processing.'”

“Several students previously had expressed interest in an astronomy minor, and this new program is a direct response to those request. Among those who had expressed an interest are a political science major, a journalism major and a music major, so it definitely does not require a science or technical major.”

One of the upper-level astronomy courses, Cosmology, first was offered last spring. A second, History of Astronomy, is being offered this semester. The other new courses will debut in Fall 2004.

A description of the new minor can be found on the physics home page, http://www.apsu.edu/physics, by clicking on the “Astronomy” link. It also will be in the 2004-05 Undergraduate Bulletin.
—Rebecca Mackey