Astronomy

The new astronomy minor at Ripon provides a broad understanding of the most beautiful phenomena in the universe and increases students’ exposure to the related discipline of chemistry, a significant advantage in the job market as well as for applying to graduate school. The minor consists of a core of several introductory courses in physics and a minimum of two additional courses in astronomy and astrophysics. The physics department hopes to incorporate the use of a planned telescope and astronomical observatory on the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy into regular coursework as part of the astronomy minor. The minor will be suitable for students interested in mathematics, physics, chemistry and, of course, astronomy. Several new courses will be developed as part of the astronomy minor, including a course on optics and optical systems, and a course on cosmology. Students minoring in astronomy will learn about astronomical instrumentation and imaging techniques as well as current theories in areas ranging from extrasolar planet formation to the big bang.