AST 101: INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY

Spring 2013

Syllabus

Lecture: MWF, 11:00-11:53 AM Room: 103 Simons Center


Instructor: Frederick M. Walter (ESS 459; 632-8232; frederick.walter at stonybrook.edu)

Donald Willcox: donald.willcox@stonybrook.edu

Syllabus revised 26 January 2013

Lect. Month Day Chapter Topic
I. Preliminaries
1 M Jan 28   Organization & Introduction;
Where We Are
2 W Jan 30 1, Appendix C Can't get Theah from Heah; Scales of the Universe
3 F Feb 1   review: The Scientific Method; Scientific Notation
4 M Feb 4 S1 Where am I? What Time is it?
5 W Feb 6 5 The Light of Your Life
6 F Feb 8 6 My, what big eyes you have!
7 M Feb 11 2 This is the Age of Aquarius
8 W Feb 13 3 The History of Astronomy. Part 1.
  F Feb 15   discussion: Does Astrology Work?
9 M Feb 18 3,4 Eppur si muove
10 W Feb 20 4 What's the Matter?
  F Feb 22   discussion: Is there a conflict between science and religion?
11 M Feb 25 4 A Matter of Gravity
  W Feb 27   review: The physics you need to know
  F Mar 1 1-6, S1 Midterm 1
12 M Mar 4 14 The Sun
13 W Mar 6 15 The Stars
  F Mar 8   discussion: Is global warming real, is it a threat, and who's to blame?
14 M Mar 11 16 Lives of the Stars
15 W Mar 13 16,17 The Once and Future Sun
16 F Mar 15 17,18 The Deaths of the Stars
17 M Mar 25 18 The Stellar Graveyard
  W Mar 27 14-18 Midterm 2
  F Mar 29   discussion: Is there a future for Life on Earth?
III. Planets
18 M Apr 1 7*, 8*, 12* Is Pluto a Planet?
19 W Apr 3 13* Solar Systems
20 F Apr 5   A Night at the Telescope: What Astronomers really do
21 M Apr 8 9*, 10*, 11* Barsoom
22 W Apr 10 24 Kang, Klingons, and Klaatu
  F Apr 12   discussion: Is there a role for Man in space?
  M Apr 15 7-13, 24 Midterm 3
IV. Galaxies and the Universe
23 W Apr 17 19 Discovery of the Galaxy
24 F Apr 19 17, 19 Galactic Ecology
25 M Apr 22 20 The Realm of the Nebulae
26 W Apr 24 21 When Galaxies Collide
  F Apr 26   discussion: Are UFOs evidence for visitations by extraterrestrials?
27 M Apr 29 S3 Why is the Night Sky Dark?
28 W May 1 23 In the Beginning
  F May 3   discussion: Was the universe made, or did it just happen?
29 M May 6 22 The Dark Side
30 W May 8 23 The End of the Universe
31 F May 10   Summary
  Tu May 14 1-24, S1, S3 Final Exam. 11:15AM-1:45PM, Simons 103


Links to lecture notes are here

Chapters refer to the course textbook, The Cosmic Perspective, 6th edition, by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit. Chapters followed by an asterisk (e.g., 7*) are not found in the truncated version of the text, The Cosmic Perspective: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmnology. These chapters are not required reading, and will be supplemented in the on-line lecture notes. You are responsible for what is covered in class. Chapters differ slightly in earlier editions. Chapters should be read prior to the lecture.


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