What makes a star shine? How long will the sun keep shining? What are black holes and how can they form? Astronomy is a general introduction to contemporary astronomy that includes how stars form and how they end their existence. The course gives special attention to the historical roots of astronomy and the exciting discoveries of the past few years. The class will discuss how pulsars and black holes result from the evolution of normal, massive stars and how giant black holes are at the center of galaxies and quasars. Students will study our solar system and astronomy in popular culture. Students will have the opportunity to learn constellations and to find their way around the sky. In labs, students will be able to explore concepts discussed in class.