SCP 140 – Topics in Astronomy

Eppich Galaxy 4 painting
Eppich, Helmut. Inferno No. 2.©. LaGuardia Community College. Photo by Dina Pizzarello.©2020.

Course content

Homework and Assignments

Homework modules were developed on MyOpenMath and piloted in Summer 2019. MyOpenMath is a free, open source, online course management system for mathematics and other quantitative fields. Functions include randomizing questions, online tests, discussion forum, and automatic grading.

Enrolled students will receive information from the instructor to access their course.

Free E-Textbook 

Astronomy is the required textbook, and it is free to read online and download PDF or Kindle. (Book URL:

Fraknoi, A., Morrison, D., & Wolff, S. (2016). Astronomy. Houston, Texas : OpenStax. Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.

Download Calibre software for converting and managing e-books

Textbook problem solutions

To access OpenStax free ancillary resources, such as lecture slides and solutions to problems, create a free account for faculty or students.

Lab Handouts, Manuals and Safety

SCP 140 Lab Handouts and Manuals

  • Laboratory manuals development is under consideration.

Forms and Safety for All Labs

(Source: LAGCC Natural Sciences Department)


The syllabus contains information on Course materials, Instructional Objectives, Grading Scheme and Standards, Homework Assignments, Attendance and other policies, Class schedule and instructors, and Laboratory requirements and experiments.

Download Spring 2020 or view online Spring 2020 (to be added)

Course Description

This course surveys modern astronomy with special emphasis on recent developments in space and astrophysics. Among the topics to be covered will be planetary astronomy and geology, the moon, the possibility of life on other worlds, energy production in stars, stellar evolution, pulsars, quasars, “black holes,” and cosmology. Laboratory periods will include field trips to planetariums and observatories in the N.Y.C. area. Prerequisites: CSE099, ENA/ENG/ESA099, MAT09. 3 credits; 3 hours (2 lecture, 1 lab)

Some of the links require login credentials and can be accessed via MyLaGuardia.

Physics and Astronomy Open Educational Resources

  • Physics and Astronomy OER
  • Ad Astra Undergraduate Research Newsletter
    Ad Astra is a newsletter where faculty, staff and students at LaGuardia Community College from different disciplines showcase their ongoing and latest research initiatives, scientific and academic accomplishments.  Ad Astra presents snippets of new scientific findings, puzzles to challenge your brain and useful information about usual and unusual career paths and possibilities following graduation.