Class Overview

Exploring the Planets - Continuing Education at Seattle Central CollegeAs astronomers began to study the surfaces of other worlds, the discipline of geology became an important resource. During the 1960’s, geology began to include planetary science as recognized field of study. This course will examine the contributions the geological sciences have made to study of other planets and how that has informed the study of our own planet.

Explore a variety of topics including how geology becomes planetary science as we move out into the Universe and interpreting meteorites and space dust.

We will look at a hundred years of interpreting the surface of Mars and the Mars rovers. Discover the geology of ice giants and ocean worlds

And we will use all of this fascinating information and perspective to consider what learning about other planets has taught us about the Earth.

No prior knowledge on these topics is required.

This course is part of our Senior Series, courses designed for older students and offered during the daytime on diverse topics.

Suggested Reading

No textbook is required.The instructor wil send links to interesting and timely articles, blogs and the like.

Here are a few books that you might find interesting:

  • Grinspoon, David. Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future. Grand Central Publishing; 2016
  • Manning, Rob; Simon, WL. Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.
    Smithsonian Books; 2014
  • Stern, Alan; Grinspoon, David. Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto. Picador; 2018


Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course, you will have:

  • Gained knowledge about the connection between astronomy and geology
  • Developed an understanding about the geology of Mars and the moon
  • Acquired insight into what we have learned about other planets has taught us about the Earth

Who Should Take This Class?

  • Anyone interested in astronomy and geology
  • People seeking knowledge and new perspectives about the universe

Session Details

  • Instructor: Ron Hobbs
  • Where: Online: Real-time and interactive through videoconferencing
  • Fee: $89