Astro 28: Special Topics in Field Astronomy


Astro 28 is a 1-unit CSU transferrable field astronomy course held off-campus. Each trip is unique and different. Students may sign up for any or all sections. Each class is held on a single weekend - Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. Evening sessions include telescope examination of the moon, planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters. The class is generally organized around a special astronomical event. Past sections have journeyed to Red Rock Canyon State Park in the Mojave Desert, to the Big Sur mountains, the Big Sur coast, the high Sierras, the eastern Sierra and Death Valley National Park, to Carrizo Plain National Monument, and to Mt. Lassen National Park, and have focused on the Leonid meteor shower, asteroid occultations, lunar grazing occultations, and a tour of a radio telescope observatory. Lunar grazes are a particularly beautiful and valuable event to plan trips around. Learn more about them here and here. Trips include group meals, featuring Dr. Rick's famous french crepes breakfast, dark-sky camping, and campfire lectures on special topics. Field studies include geology explorations (faults, earthquake scars, hot springs, semi-precious gem deposits...) and talks relating to planetary processes, a brief section on the sun with sunspot viewing, and note-taking is strongly encouraged. A take-home final exam and attendence at all sessions is required for full credit.

An on-campus session, generally on the Wednesday or Thursday evening before the weekend trip, is required. The session is held in the planetarium (room 706) and includes a planetarium presentation, lecture on solar system formation and evolution, trip planning including distribution of maps, field handouts, pot-luck food decisions, and car pooling.

Sign-Up's and Registration

Unlike most courses, students cannot register for Astro 28 without permission from the instructor. Permission is granted when a camping fee to cover campground reservations is paid. The student is then given permission in the college computer system to register on-line in the usual way. Permission to add is obtained in person.The sign-up session is generally Tuesday 5:30pm of the first week of the semester in room 705. Click here for specific signup time for each class. These classes are very popular and only 28 spots are available, so please plan to have your camping fee and arrive before the beginning of sign-ups. The courses often fill the first day. In Spring I offer two Astro 28's, and so they often do not fill on the first day, but then again, often they do!

Let me be clear to students here - paying the camping deposit does NOT register you for the class. You must still register afterwards with the add slip you will receive once your camping fee payment is verified. Sometimes students are not interested in grades and credit and therefore feel they need not register. Please - you will NOT be welcome on our trip until and unless you register! Cabrillo College is not so much interested in the camping fee, or even in the tuition fee when you register - Cabrillo needs your enrollment in order to receive funding for your education from Sacramento. When you fail to register, you are depriving Cabrillo of nearly $1,000 in Sacramento funding per student per unit. Also, in these difficult economic times, classes must show strong registration to keep from getting cut. I love teaching these classes and want to keep doing so. Finally, Cabrillo's insurance policy does not apply to non-registered people. This is why my Dean (Natural and Applied Sciences) has made it clear that students are not to be permitted to attend any classes, most especially the field classes, unless they are registered. So just to further clarify --- REGISTER for the field classes before the first class meeting!

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Past and Present Astro 28 Sections

Astro 28: Spr '97 - "Field Astronomy and Comet Hale-Bopp - at Mt. Whitney"

Astro 28: Spr '98 - "Field Astronomy in the Sierra and a Grazing Occultation of Aldebaren"

Astro 28: Spr '99 - "Field Astronomy at Death Valley National Park"

Astro 28A: Fall '00 - "Field Astronomy in the Big Sur Mountains"

Astro 28B: Spring '01 - "Lunar Graze and Radio Telescope Tour "

Astro 28C: Fall '01 - "Field Astronomy at Big Sur"

Astro 28D: Spring '02 - "Field Astronomy High Desert / Eastern Sierra"

Astro 28E: Fall '02 - "Field Astronomy in the High Sierras"

Astro 28F: Spring '03 - "Field Astronomy at Henry Coe State Park"

Astro 28G: Spring '03 - "Field Astronomy at the Kern River / Miracle Hot Springs"

Astro 28H: Fall '03 - "Field Astronomy at Lassen Volcanic National Park / Hat Creek Radio Observatory"

Astro 28K: Spring '04 - "Field Astronomy at Carrizo Plain National Monument: Comet T7 LINEAR"

Astro 28J: Spring '04 - "Field Astronomy in the Southern Sierra: Comet Q4 NEAT"

Astro 28L: Fall '04 - "Field Astronomy in Southern Big Sur"

Astro 28M: Spr. '05 - "Field Astronomy in the High Desert: Two Lunar Grazes

Astro 28N: Spr '05 - "Field Astronomy: Observing an Asteroid Occultation" (held at Big Sur)

Astro 28P: Fall '05 - "Field Astronomy at Mt. Lassen / Hat Creek Radio Observatory"

Astro 28Q: Spr '06 - "Field Astronomy in the Eastern Sierra / High Desert"

Astro 28R: Spr '06 - "Field Astronomy: Comets, Asteroids, and Condors"

Astro 28S: Fall '06 - "Field Astronomy in Hot Springs Country"

Astro 28T: Spr '07 - "Field Astronomy at Pt. Reyes National Seashore"

Astro 28U: Spr '07 - "Field Astronomy at Giant Sequoia National Monument"

Astro 28V: Summer '07 - "Field Astronomy in the Sierras: the Perseid Meteor Shower"

Astro 28W: Fall '07 - "Field Astronomy - Granite Domes and Sierra Hot Springs"

Astro 28K: Spring '08 - "Field Astronomy - Lunar Graze, Comet Impact Geology, and the San Andreas Fault"

Astro 28X: Spring '08 - "Field Astronomy - Limesone Cavern Studies in Sierra Gold Country"

Astro 28Y: Summer '08 - "Field Astronomy near Mono Lake - Aquarius Meteors and a Lunar Graze"

Astro 28Z: Fall '08 - "Field Astronomy at Mono Hot Springs - Measuring an Asteroid"

Astro 28L: Spring '09 - "Field Astronomy in Southern Big Sur"

Astro 28U: Spring '09 - "Field Astronomy at Giant Sequoia National Monument" (held at Mt. Lassen National Park)

Astro 28E: Fall '09 - "Field Astronomy in the High Sierra - Giant Sequoias and a Lunar Graze"

Astro 28M: Spr '10 - "Field Astronomy in the High Desert - Native American Sites and a Lunar Graze"

Astro 28N: Spr '10 - "Field Astronomy in Sequoia National Park - Measuring an Asteroid"

Astro 28J: Fall '10 - "Field Astronomy in the High Sierra: Comet Studies"

Astro 28C: Spr '11 - "Field Astronomy, Charting a Lunar Graze from the High Desert "

Astro 28D: Fall '11 - "Field Astronomy - Comet Studies from Mono Hot Springs in the Sierra "

Astro 28K: Spr '12 - "Field Astronomy - Planetary Processes at Carrizo Plain National Monument"

Astro 28H: Fall '12 - "Field Astronomy at Mt. Lassen and the SETI Radio Telescope Array"

Astro 28R: Spr '14 - "Field Astronomy: Studying California Faults and Lunar Mtns at Carrizo Plain National Monument"

Astro 28B: Spr '15 - "Field Astronomy at Mt Lassen and the SETI Telescope Array"

Astro 28Z: Fall '15 - "Field Astronomy at Mono Hot Springs"


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