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A Golden Age of Astronomy    NEW!

We live in a golden age of science, generally, and of astronomy in particular. This course will examine the contours of that golden age by studying selected important astronomical discoveries of our time. We will place those discoveries in the context of an emerging view of the universe and of our place in it. Along the way, we will also consider a variety of instruments and methods that make possible today’s discoveries. We will conclude by considering the place of humanity in an immense and expanding universe. The specific discoveries to be examined will be dictated by the pace and nature of ongoing discoveries. Please understand that the focus of this course is on the important discoveries of our time. Therefore, we will not conduct any outdoor observing sessions. The discoveries we will consider involve techniques and instruments far beyond the capacity of instruments available to us. The telescope at the Mc Cormick Observatory operated by UVA is a magnificent instrument designed by a great man, Alvan Clark. It is historically important. But it is not relevant to the subject matter of this course, and we will not be observing through it.
 

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