Planetary Astronomy 
CRN: 21276
16 Weeks - Distance Education course 

On-Campus Requirements 
All exams are taken on campus in the Testing Center

Dave Kary's Astronomy header 

Name  Dave Kary
Phone  (626) 852-8031
Location  CI 313

Welcome! Buckle your space belts...

You have signed up for an intense adventure. Through rigorous and challenging study, you will create a mental map of the solar system. This is a course for the motivated, self-disciplined student. If that describes you, you can explore space!

I'm Dave Kary and I'll be your instructor. You can find out more about me (including contact information) using the Instructor link at the left of this page.

This page is designed as an introduction to the course, and it is available to folks who have and have not registered for the class.

There are several things you need to do right away:

If you are checking out this course and would like to learn more about it:

If you have already registered:

  • E-mail me by Wednesday, August 24 at midnight to hold your place in the course. Until you have sent me an e-mail message, you can't assume that you will be able to stay in the class. It would also be extremely helpful for you to give me a little information about your background in science and math (what you last took and how long ago; whether you remember it well, or it feels rusty, etc.) and about your expectations for this course.
  • This course often has a long waiting list, and I set this early deadline so I can admit students from the list. If I don't hear from you, you will be dropped!
  • Make sure you check your Citrus email address. If you have any questions or concerns about your Citrus email account, check with the Tech Services office. 


  • Of course, you will need to look over the Syllabus and the Elements of course.
  • Make sure you have what you need to take this class:
    • a textbook, The Solar System, The Cosmic Perspective, 8th Edition by Jeffrey Bennett et. al., Pearson. There are several versions of the book. Make sure you buy the version covering the solar system, not stars and galaxies. Also if you have a 4th edition, 5th edition, 6th, or 7th edition, you will need to purchase access to the textbook website directly from the publisher. There have been some small changes and updates in the text since these earlier editions, but they're not large and in most cases won't have a big impact on your understanding of the material. You may want to consult with an 8th edition book to check figure references, questions, page numbers, or information on very recent discoveries. 
      ditions before the 4th edition will not work for this class. Too much has changed in the chapters, questions, etc.
      You can buy your textbook at the Owl Bookshop at Citrus College, or at the Owl Bookshop Online . Also, make sure you register with the textbook web site, Mastering Astronomy, so that you can access the course tutorials. You will need the textbook for this.
    • a computer with a CD-ROM drive with a Java-enabled browser. Also, you should Adobe Reader version X or later (this is very important for the online lecture materials)
    • a citrus e-mail account and Internet access.
    • a calculator that can compute in scientific notation.
  • After August 22, check to make sure your account is activated on Blackboard (Note: I'm hoping to have this available a few days earlier, but it will certainly be up and running by the 22nd. If it is available earlier, I will send an email message to everyone I can). This class will be using the Blackboard (see below) learning environment for most things, so you will need to be able to access it. Your account name and password will be the same as on Wingspan.
  • If you are new to distance ed ("DE"), I recommend you try the Online Orientation at the distance education web site.
  • Plan on attending our course's own orientation, which I highly recommend for all students. If you cannot attend, you should tell me beforehand so that I can send you the worksheet we will be going over. The orientation will be Wednesday, August 24 at 7 pm. in MA 225 .
  • If you decide to drop the class, please send me an e-mail right away so I can admit a student from the waiting list.


If you want to register but couldn't because the course is full:

    We are using a waiting list system on Wingspan. I will use this list to determine adds to the class in the first week. If I send you an add code you should sign up right away: we will be doing graded work by early in the term so any delay could mean that you miss points in the class. 

    Blackboard and WingSpan Information
    (Notice:  All Blackboard courses will be available on the first day of classes)
    Blackboard --> 
    WingSpan -->  

    • Your WingSpan ID becomes your Blackboard Username
    • Your WingSpan PIN number (six digits only) becomes your Blackboard password
    • Data will be transferred from WingSpan to Blackboard on a regular basis

    Once you get to the welcome page, click on the Planetary Astronomy course link on the right, and you will go to the course site. Please be familiarized yourself with the course site and if you have any questions please email your instructor with your concern. Get your textbook and get started with your initial assignments. A major key to your success in this course will be keeping up with both the reading and the other assignments.   


    If you have a disability documented by a physician or other appropriate professional and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact the DSP&S office at (626) 914-8675. Please discuss your accommodations with me by email and be sure to allow at least one week to arrange appropriate accommodations.