Video Resources

Richard Hammar teaches a 3 credit-hour introductory course on Astronomy each Spring semester at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri USA. Both the video (showing Powerpoint slides) and audio formats are available below. Also available are public lectures Richard Hammar has presented on the intersection of astronomy and religion. Audios are downloadable; videos are viewable on-line only.

Astronomy Course Lectures, Video:

Courtesy of Evangel University, Springfield, MO USA
Astronomy Class – Lecture 1A Grand Tour of the Heavens Introduction: the “Modern Age of Astronomy”

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why study astronomy; size and distance; general revelation; light years and parsecs; constellations; astrology; star names; angular measurement; the age of the universe.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 2Light, Matter, and Energy

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The nature of light; Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism; does light consist of waves or particles; the electromagnetic spectrum and its relevant to astronomy; estimating the temperature of stars; spectroscopy; the Bohr model of the atom; the Doppler effect.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 3

The Structure of the Solar System; Telescopes;
The Clockwork Universe

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Astronomy Class – Lecture 4

Lecture 3 Continued…

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Geocentricism v. heliocentricism in the ancient world; Ptolemy; problems with geocentricism; Copernicus; Galileo’s proofs of the Copernican heliocentric model (the phases of Venus, and the moons of Jupiter); the Church’s response; different types of telescope; the largest telescopes; stellar magnitudes; Dawe’s Limit (can we see the lunar landers from Earth?); interferometers; adaptive optics; orbiting telescopes; the Hubble Space Telescope.Explaining lunar phases; definition of a “day”; calendars; lunar eclipses; solar eclipses (annular and total); historic eclipses; eclipses on other planets; the celestial sphere; the Aristotelian conception of “spheres”; Dante’s Inferno; declination and right ascension; understanding the seasons; the ecliptic and solar plane; perihelion and aphelion.
Astronomy Class – Lecture 5

Lecture 4 continued;
Gravitation and Motion

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Tycho Brahe; Johannes Kepler; Kepler’s 3 Laws of Planetary Motion; Isaac Newton; the inverse square law; conservation of angular momentum.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 6

Lecture 5 continued;
The Terrestrial Planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) and Their Moons

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Physical characteristics; the origin and types of craters; the formation of the solar system; tides; the Van Allen Belt; aurora borealis; the greenhouse effect.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 7
Lecture 6 continued…

The Jovian Planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) and Their Moons.

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Physical characteristics of the Jovian planets and their moons; NASA missions to the Jovian planets; Jupiter’s Great Red Spot; the four “Galilean satellites”; Saturn’s rings; Titan; the discovery of Uranus and Neptune.
Pluto, comets, and space debris.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 8

Our Star: the Sun; Stars: Distant Suns.

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the Sun’s basic structure; sunspots and other solar activity; the Sun and the General Theory of Relativity; relativistic time dilation based on gravity and velocity under the Special Theory of Relativity.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 9

How Stars Shine.

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colors, temperature, and spectra of stars; measuring the distance to the stars; the Stefan-Boltzmann law; the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram; proper motion, binary and multiple stars; variable stars; the mass-luminosity relationship; star clusters.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 10

Lecture 9 continued…
The Death of Stars: Stellar Recycling

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The fate of stars of low, medium, and high mass stars; proton-proton fusion; triple alpha fusion; white dwarf stars; Chandrasekhar’s Limit; electron degeneracy; the Pauli exclusionary principle; planetary nebulae; neutron stars; neutron degeneracy; supernovae; pulsars

Astronomy Class – Lecture 11

The Milky Way GalaxyStar formation; the amount of energy stars produce; the source of a star’s energy; Einstein’s principle of mass-energy equivalence; proton-proton nuclear fusion; abundance of the elements; solar neutrinos

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The “Milky Way” defined; Hershel’s stellar census; the “Great Debate”; characteristic of the Milky Way; Shapley’s measurement of the distance to globular clusters; the spiral density wave theory; Keplerian rotational curves in spiral galaxies and the discovery of dark matter; the mass of the Milky Way; center of the galaxy.

Astronomy Class – Lecture 12

A Universe of Galaxies.Life In The Universe.

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Astronomy Class – Lecture 13

Lecture 12 Continued…

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