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Astronomy

From the creation of black holes to the birth and death of stars to the fundamental question of the formation of the universe, astronomy awes and inspires us. YHC offers a minor in astronomy providing a springboard to further studies in pursuit of a bachelor's degree.

The minor allows students pursuing a bachelor’s degree to enhance their knowledge about the workings of the universe along with added practical experience. The minor will give students an overall qualitative overview of astronomy and physics as well as a deeper understanding of some aspects of astrophysics and cosmology.

An important component of the minor is a planetarium internship course. Students will learn how to operate the planetarium and will have the opportunity to write, edit and modify content for planetarium shows and presentations. In addition, they will learn to provide technical support and creative assistance. Students will gain an overall knowledge about the theoretical and practical aspects of astronomy: a true liberal arts experience.

Students with a minor in Astronomy will develop skills essential to a variety of professions including teaching and managing astronomical facilities. Students will be well-versed in instrumentation and handling of a telescope. They will also be prepared to pursue further studies relating to physics and astronomy. Astronomers working in planetariums, science museums, newspapers, magazines or in other public service positions provide an important link between the world of astronomy and the general public. These jobs require a broad range of astronomy knowledge and the ability to communicate effectively with the public.

Jobs are also available in secondary schools teaching physics or earth sciences, as well as in the science journalism field. The aforementioned positions generally do not require an advanced degree, although such a degree might prove useful at the more technical levels. The minor can serve as the foundation for graduate degrees and is also  excellent preparation for laboratory technicians, computer programmers and science journalists.

Astronomy classes at YHC are held in the Rollins Planetarium, which features a state-of-the-art Sky-Skan Definiti digital fulldome projection system and a Goto Chronos Space Simulator star projector housed in a 40-foot dome. The department also has an astronomical observatory located a short distance from campus, outfitted with numerous telescopes, including a Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector, operating under the dark skies and high elevation of northern Georgia. The planetarium and observatory offer a full season of programs such as public Friday night shows and weekday shows for schools and other groups.

View the Astronomy Minor curriculum.

View some helpful resources.

For more information, contact Steve Morgan, Director of the Rollins Planetarium and Instructor of Astronomy.