Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics and chemistry to understand the origins and evolution of objects such as planets, stars, black holes and galaxies. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences and its history provides a fascinating account of the ongoing human quest to understand our place in the Cosmos.

You can take a survey of astronomy course that will expose you to a wide range of astronomical topics. Each instructor will decide the exact topics and overall focus of the course. Some may emphasize more local structures, such as the planets in our solar system, while others may emphasize subjects that involve the Universe’s evolution as a whole. Studying astronomy can prepare for government and private-sector work, as well as careers in education, research and public service. Seattle Central also offers self-paced astronomy courses conducted online via Canvas.

Courses Offered

  • Survey of Astronomy
  • Observational Astronomy

To read course descriptions for the current and upcoming quarter as well as register, visit MyCentral.

Astronomy Careers

  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Observational Astronomer
  • Museum Guide

Astronomy Faculty

Ricco Bonicalzi
University of Washington, Ph.D.

Damon Ellingston
Wesleyan University, M.A. (Mathematics)
University of Maryland, M.S. (Physics)

Doug Faust
University of Washington, M.S., Ph.D. (Physics)

Fabio Governato
University of Rome II, Ph.D. (Astronomy)

Rainer Heller (Co-Department Lead)
Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet, Germany, Diplom (Master’s Degree) (Physics)
University of Washington, Ph.D. (Geophysics)

Ana Larson
University of Victoria, B.C., Ph.D. (Physics, Astrophysics)

Francois Lepeintre (Co-Department Lead)
University of Washington, Ph.D. (Physics)

Linda Khandro
State University of New York, M.A. (Earth and Space Science)

Elisabetta Valenti
University of Washington, M.S. (Aeronautics and Astronautics)