‚ÄčDave Kary's Astronomy header

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 will 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:

Have a look at the Syllabus and the Elements of the course.

If you have already registered:

  • E-mail me by Wednesday, February 22 at midnight to hold your place in the course. Until you have sent me an e-mail message, you can't assume that you can 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 always has a long waiting list, and I set this early deadline so I can admit students from the list. You will know got your e-mail when you receive an e-mail copy of my welcome letter. 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., Addison Wesley.There are several versions of the book. Make sure you buy the version covering the solar system, not stars and galaxies.  Also, you can use the 4th edition, 5th edition, 6th edition, or 7th edition. Earlier editions of the textbook 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 .

  • a computer with a modern browser (preferably Firefox, Safari, or Chrome).

  • an Citrus e-mail account and Internet access.

  • a calculator that can compute in scientific notation.

  • After February 21, 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 21st. If it is available earlier, I will send an email message to everyone I can). This class will be using the Blackboard 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. Check on Wingspan to make sure that the e-mail address listed for you is correct.

  • If you are new to distance ed ("DE"), I recommend that 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 need to tell me beforehand so that I can send you the worksheet we will be going over. The orientation will be Wednesday, February 22 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:

      • I will use the waiting list on Wingspan 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 second week of term so any delay could mean that you miss points in the class.