Female student with telescope.

Bakersfield College astronomy courses provide students with a fundamental understanding of the science of astronomy and its role in the natural world. You can explore a range of topics, including the study of stars and galaxies, the formation of the universe, and the search for life on other planets.

Courses include theoretical and practical components, with students studying the fundamental laws of physics and mathematics that govern the behavior of celestial objects. They also engage in hands-on learning through laboratory work, observation sessions, and the use of state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Bakersfield College currently offers the following courses: Science of the Cosmos, Solar System, and Life in the Universe.

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Celestial Shows

Come See the Stars

The William M Thomas Planetarium provides shows for more than 4,500 K-12 students per year and holds public shows. Equipped with a Chronos star projector from GOTO and a Spitz SciDome all-dome video system installed under a Spitz premium-seam 36-foot dome and individual seating for 72 people the Planetarium is truly dazzling.

What is Astronomy?

Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects and phenomena, such as stars, planets, moons, galaxies, and the origins of the universe. It involves using telescopes, satellites, and other tools to observe and understand the physical and chemical properties of celestial objects and the laws of physics that govern their behavior.

Astronomers use data from these observations to develop theories and models that explain the formation and evolution of celestial objects and systems, as well as their relationship to each other and the universe. The study of astronomy also involves exploring the search for extraterrestrial life and the potential for future human exploration of the cosmos.

Overall, astronomy provides a unique perspective on the universe and our place within it and plays a key role in advancing our understanding of the natural world.

Is Studying Astronomy Right for Me?

Individuals who would succeed at studying astronomy tend to have certain traits and interests, such as:

  • Curiosity about the universe
  • Strong analytical and mathematical skills
  • Love of science
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills

While these traits and interests can help individuals succeed in the study of astronomy, it is important to note that anyone with a desire to learn and a willingness to work hard can succeed in this field, regardless of their background or prior experience.

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Astronomy Careers

After completing the Astronomy courses, and with further education, students interested in Astronomy can pursue a variety of careers in astronomy and related fields, including:

  • Astronomer: Astronomers study the physical and chemical properties of celestial objects and the laws of physics that govern their behavior. They use telescopes, satellites, and other tools to observe and analyze data, and use this information to develop theories and models about the universe.
  • Planetary scientist: Planetary scientists study the properties and evolution of planets, moons, asteroids, and other objects in our solar system. They use data from spacecraft and telescopes to learn about the composition and geology of these objects, and to search for signs of life.
  • Science educator: Graduates with an AS in Astronomy can also choose to become science educators, teaching astronomy and other science subjects to students of all ages.
  • Data analyst: Astronomers often use complex software and data analysis techniques to process and interpret the data they collect. Graduates with an AS in Astronomy can use these skills in a variety of careers as data analysts.
  • Science writer or communicator: Graduates with an AS in Astronomy can also choose to use their knowledge and skills to communicate science to the public, either as science writers or through other forms of communication such as science journalism or museum exhibits.

These are some of the most common careers for graduates with an AS in Astronomy, but there are many other opportunities for individuals with an education in astronomy, both within the field and in related areas. The specific career paths available will depend on individual interests and skills, as well as the job market and other factors.

Astronomy Degrees and Certificates / Transfer Pathways

While we do not currently offer a degree or certificate in Astronomy, courses do satisfy general education requirements for Bakersfield College General Education and areas for transferring to the CSU or UC systems. For these requirements see the General Education Patterns.

See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Physical Science

Career & Learning Pathway: Science Engineering Technology Mathematics (STEM) Pathway

Courses: Astronomy (ASTR)

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