About the Program
Discover the Universe at Foothill College
Join us on the evening of January 20th to witness the Earth's shadow - and the light of every sunset and sunrise - pass across the moon during the lunar eclipse. In conjunction with the Peninsula Astronomical Society, our partners in the operation of the Foothill Observatory, we will have the observatory open as well as additional telescopes in parking lot 4. The observatory will be open from 8 to 10:30 pm.
The Astronomy Department at Foothill College offers lecture and laboratory classes with astronomy professor Dr. Geoff Mathews. Courses in solar system and stellar astronomy provide you with a non-technical introduction to the worlds with which we share our solar system; the life and death of stars; the formation of galaxies; and the evolution of the universe.
In Fall 2018, Dr. Mathews is teaching two sections of Astronomy 10B - one on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and the other on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. He is also teaching two sections of the Astronomy 10L lab - one on Wednesday and the other on Thursday afternoons.
Dr. Mathews joined us from the University of Hawaii, where he taught others how to teach astronomy more effectively. Our long-time faculty member Andrew Fraknoi retired in June 2017.
Degree & Program Types
We do not offer a degree or certificate program in Astronomy. However, the astronomy courses meet general education requirements for other degrees offered.
The Foothill College Observatory
Located on the main campus near the Krause Center for Innovation, the observatory provides students and community members with the opportunity for first-hand exploration of the wonders of the universe. The observatory is open on Friday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series
Founded in 1999, the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series lectures are presented on six Wednesday evenings during each school year at Foothill College. Speakers over the years have included Nobel-prize winners, members of the National Academy of Sciences and many other well-known scientists explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.
The series, moderated by Foothill College Astronomy instructor emeritus Andrew Fraknoi,
is sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the SETI Institute, NASA's Ames Research Center and Foothill College. Topics range from the exploration of the planets to the speeding
up of the expanding universe; from planets around other stars to black holes at the
Lectures are free to the general public. You can obtain free audio files (podcasts) of the lectures from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and video versions of a few of the current lectures at YouTube Channel.
The Peninsula Astronomical Society
The Peninsula Astronomical Society holds its meetings on the campus of Foothill College at 7:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month in room 5015 next to Parking Lot 5. There is a $3 charge for parking — visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots (see map). Meetings feature lectures by prominent members of the professional and amateur communities, and are open to the public.
Astronomy on the Web
For further explorations of the universe, check out these selected astronomy sites on the Web.
Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series
Dr. Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley
"Black Holes, Exploding Stars, and the Runaway Universe: A Life in Science"
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 7 pm at the Smithwick Theatre.
Admission is free, $3 parking fee. Arrive early to locate parking. See map.
Peninsula Astronomical Society Guest Lectures
Friday, January 11, 7:30 p.m. in lecture hall 5001
Enjoy a talk by a visiting expert in astronomy!
We're Here to Help!
David Marasco, Dept. Chair
Office Room 4405
Division Office Contacts
|Ram Subramaniam, Division Dean
|Ru Yu Chen
Division Administrative Assistant
|STEM Success Center|