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ASTRON-101L - Observational Astronomy Lab - Christine Hirst Bernhardt

Course:Observational Astronomy Lab
Professor:Christine Hirst Bernhardt
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


image of stars in the night sky

Welcome to astronomy lab!

This course will allow you to take exploratory deep dives into various topics aligned with your lecture class. Learning about space and the Universe is my passion, and I am so excited to share this journey with you!

We may not have planned for an online science class, and may prefer being together in a classroom, and I imagine that you may have some anxiety, concerns, and uncertainty about taking a science class online. I want to assure you that we are on this journey together, and that I will support you in every way I can.

While I know this semester looks far different from others, I see this as an opportunity. I am looking forward to seeing your scientific skill sets grow throughout the process of doing authentic astronomical analysis, and your curiosity of the world around you peak. Remote learning affords us the opportunity to dive into space missions and data that a face-to-face setting may preclude. You don’t have to be a PhD scientist or engineer to be involved in astronomy! I hope this course allows you to imagine yourself in a STEM career, regardless of your background, strengths or weaknesses. It takes every flavor to plan and execute a space mission. Please talk with me about how to chart your path! I love learning, and am still charting my own. I love working with students as they plan their future and see themselves within the context of astronomy and STEM.

My name is Christine Hirst Bernhardt, and I will be your instructor. I am in the process of changing my name (hurray for pre-pandemic weddings), so you can address me as either Mrs. Hirst or Mrs. Bernhardt. Either is fine. I have taught at COC since 2015, and the Hart District since 2007. I also work with teachers at the NASA Endeavor Teaching Project, and through CSUN. I am currently a PhD student at UCSB.

Course Description

This semester, we will be exploring the wonders of the universe through various tools of observation.  Learning about space has changed my life, and I am passionate about sharing that experience with you. This course is designed to support your lecture class (100 or 101) through deep dives into particular topics. Additionally, we will have the opportunity to observe the cosmos through remote telescopes, various tools of technology, and a partnership with an amateur astronomy club. You will also learn how to use the apps in your phones to observe anytime, anywhere (even during the day!)  to perform an observing project.

What to Expect in this Course

  1. Lab activities
  2. Observational activities
  3. SLOOH telescopic activities
  4. 1 Observing project

Types of Assessments


Textbook Information

none - no textbook

Other Relevant Course Information

This course REQUIRES high speed internet connection-particularly for our remote observations. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/08/2021 Sub#: 834