Jason Shilling Kendall: Citizen Astronomer

William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

William Paterson University

Jason Kendall is adjunct instructor of Astronomy at William Paterson University.


Jason is teaching one section of General Astronomy in the Fall of 2019:

Online Introductory Astronomy Class

CRN: 44146, PHYS 1700-81, Online lectures and laboratory activities.

Modules: Home | Books | Labs | Modules: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | Extra


Module 12: The Elements of Astronomy

Supplements and Credits

Supplement the videos with "OpenStax Astronomy"


01: Finding our way around the sky, and our Place in Space

This is the first of hopefully many intro to astronomy lectures. Hopefully, I'll find the energy to put together an entire series based on a whole intro class.


02: Earth's orbit and tilt. The Seasons, the Year and the Day

Wherein we discuss the motions of the Earth, and reason for the seasons. This is the second of what I hope will become a long series of lectures. One of my major hopes with this series will be "modeling". When one teaches, one hopes to model what one expects from the students. Basically, it means, I want to show what riffing on a subject for 15 minutes looks like. I try to master the topic enough to do a "one-take" version of the lecture, just like you might get in a classroom. All of these lectures will be "one take". I won't do retakes, or do-overs, unless, of course, I get really knocked off my feet by someone coming in, or big noises or something. In this world, where Google searches, Siri queries, and Alexa echos dominate how we acquire knowledge, I am just hoping to show what it means to master a topic. In this case, introductory astronomy. You should try it too, on your own topic. I hope you enjoy!


03: Lunacy! Phases, Eclipses and Orbit of the Moon.

Wherein we discuss the motions of the Moon, and reason for the phases and eclipses. This is the third of what I hope will become a long series of lectures.


04: Distance, Parallax and Parsecs

Wherein we discuss the nature of distance in astronomy, and its measurement with parallax.


05: How Round the Earth? How Far the Sun?

Wherein we chat about how we know the size of the Earth, and how that can be used to determine the distance to the Sun, given that Venus does a transit across the Sun.


06: I Got the Sun in the Mornin' and the Moon at Night...

Wherein we further discuss the nature of distances and sizes in astronomy, and its measurement just positions in the sky. Wherein we chat about how we know the relative sizes and distances of the Sun and Moon to the Earth.


07: Why did we once think Earth was at the center?

Wherein we further discuss the Aristotle's arguments for a stationary Earth, and the construction of Ptolemy's Geocentric Model that ruled the roost for almost 2000 years, until it was dethroned in 1610.


William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Amateur Astronomers Association of New York Astronomical Society of the Pacific