Courses in Astronomy

In the Department of Physics, we offer two courses on astronomy topics to students who have been admitted to the University of Prince Edward Island (through the formal admission process).

  • Life in the Universe (Physics 1510)
  • Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (Physics 2920)

Continue reading below to get more information on these courses.

If you are over 50 years of age, you should investigate the current course offerings from the Seniors College of PEI. Courses on astronomy are frequently offered to members of the college.

If you’re looking for a free introductory course on astronomy, the CrashCourse Astronomy series of videos on YouTube is an excellent option. They are offered by astronomer Phil Plait.

Courses offered by the Department of Physics

Physics 1510: Life in the Universe

Beginning with a history of the evolving scientific thought on Earth’s place in the universe, students will learn the fundamental physics and biology concepts necessary to assess what makes a planet and solar system suitable for life. Topics will include current research missions within our solar system, the search for extrasolar planets, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the social implications of discovering life elsewhere. This course is intended for non-science students but science students are welcome to enroll also.
Three credit-hour lecture, WEB course

Physics 2920: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

This course is an introduction to the study of astronomical objects and phenomena. Topics of study include observation of Earth’s sky, gravity, light, and its use in astronomical instruments; properties and energy production of our Sun; methods of measuring astronomical distances; the structure, energy, and evolution of stars; interstellar matter and the structure of the Milky Way galaxy; other galaxies; cosmology; and some other related topics of interest.
PREREQUISITES:  A first-year physics course or permission of the instructor.
Three-credit hour lecture; three-credit hour laboratory or field observations.

More information about courses and programs available from the Department of Physics.