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Planets for Poets

Andrew Fraknoi


With intriguing new objects being discovered around and beyond Pluto, with wonderful new pictures and information coming from Mars, and with more than 150 planets now known around other stars (some too weird for words), this winter quarter might be the perfect time to take an introduction to the planets.

Foothill College is offering Astronomy 10A, the "Planets for Poets" course both in the evening and during the day, and anyone interested in the latest discoveries and ideas about other worlds is invited to enroll. No background in science or math is required, and the instructor, Andrew Fraknoi, specializes in explaining scientific ideas in everyday language.

The winter quarter starts Jan 9 and ends March 29.

The Astronomy 10A course is offered:

* Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:25 pm

* Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 12 noon to 1:25 pm

Registration begins December 12th.

To enroll, go to the Foothill web site:

and click on "Apply and Register" in the top menu.

For more on the astronomy program at Foothill, see:

Among the questions answered in Astronomy 10A are:

* What cosmic threat killed the dinosaurs and could it kill us?

* Have we found a tenth planet?

* Is Pluto a real planet or just a dirty ice ball?

* Was there once enough water on Mars for life to start?

* What are the ten greatest tourist sights in the solar system?

* Is our family of planets usual or exceptional?

* What are the rings of Saturn made of?

* Why a trip to Venus would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience

* Where could humans live if we really mess up the Earth?

* How can we look for intelligent life among the stars?


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