This program is founded on the philosophy that undergraduates should not over specialize too early in a field, such as astronomy, which is based primarily in advanced research in universities and government labs. Thus, we expect undergraduate students to remain anchored in their major fields, such as physics, geology, engineering, etc., while pursuing their specific interests. The program is therefore ideally suited to supplement majors for which astronomy has relevance. So, for example, the aerospace engineering major would gain the opportunity to learn more about the environment and setting in which spacecraft operate, the geology major would gain some broader understanding of the planets, and the physics major would develop an awareness of the large scale structure of the universe. For the undergraduate seriously interested in astronomy as a career our advice is to major in physics while minoring in astronomy. Advanced graduate studies in astronomy require first the full background in physics, on top of which specific knowledge in astronomy would be a plus. Finally, we welcome those students who pursue the Astronomy Minor out of pure interest and love of the subject irrespective of career concerns. 
The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51),  imaged by students Adam Drake, Victor Gehman, Seth Hornstein, and Chad King.  They used the 0.4 m telescope at the Martin Observatory, which is located at the Miles C. Horton Sr. Center (a facility of the Mary Moody Northen Endowment and Virginia Tech).
Use this free Java-based tool to analyze images.  It was developed by VT's Dr. John Simonetti.
Click here to use SIP.

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