Astronomer Michael Chriss
Astronomer Michael Chriss

Astronomy professor and Academy Village resident Michael Chriss is continuing an encore presentation of “The Philosophy and History of Astronomical Thought,” an undergraduate course he is teaching at the University of Arizona.

The free, non-credit course is being presented in the Arizona Senior Academy Great Room in three sections: five weeks last fall, six weeks in the winter/early spring of 2016, and six more weeks this fall.

In this third section—six Wednesdays from Sept.28 through Nov. 2—Chriss will cover “The Modern View: Astronomy from Newton to Hubble” and “Lingering Questions: Life, Religion, God, Meaning.”

Each class runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with a break for refreshments near the middle. No tests will be given, and written notes for the course will be made available via the internet

The next two lectures of this fall section will describe how 20th century astronomers discover an endless universe of galaxies, explore the life of the stars and question whether we are alone.

Launched into low Earth orbit in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope remains in operation today.
Launched into low Earth orbit in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope remains in operation today.

Chriss’s Oct. 19 lecture, entitled “Hubble’s Universe,” will describe how the Hubble Space Telescope and other new telescopes led to the discovery of more galaxies and superclusters.

Chriss has spent a lifetime in teaching. Before he retired he was Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at San Francisco State University and Professor of Astronomy and Humanities at the College of San Mateo, where he had been teaching since 1966.

He received his degrees in astronomy at the University of Arizona with further studies in History of Art and Science at UC Berkeley, Stanford and Oxford University. Since 1986, he has lectured about astronomy and other related topics on cruise ships.

Now he is back at the UA Steward Observatory, teaching students where he started his career in 1952 as a freshman majoring in astronomy.

Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer


Astronomy Course (Without Tests) Continues at ASA:Oct.19;2016