Astronomy is the study of the sun, moon, stars, planets, comets, gas, galaxies, dust, and other regions and objects beyond the Earth.
While no degree program in astronomy is offered at Penn State Behrend, students can complete coursework in astronomy that can be applied to other science degree programs, to either a major or minor in Astronomy and Astrophysics degree at the University Park campus, or to general education science credits.
Behrend students interested in astronomy, either just for a course to take or perhaps as a profession, should bear the following in mind: All astronomy courses at Behrend have some physics and math! How else could one understand how humans measure the distance to a galaxy, the temperature of a star, or the mass of a planet?
Students who aspire to major in Astronomy are strongly encouraged to major or minor in Physics since everything that astronomers do requires a firm understanding of both physics and mathematics. Students could later apply their classroom and laboratory experiences in physics to graduate school in astrophysics or a related area if they so desire.
Students taking astronomy coursework at Penn State Behrend can use the Mehalso Observatory as part of their studies. Located behind the Otto Behrend Science Building, the observatory provides opportunities for classroom use, viewing by the public in Behrend's popular Open House Nights in Astronomy, and undergraduate research for science students. Students also may visit the Yahn Planetarium at Penn State Behrend, located in the Zurn Building.