Courses in Astronomy (Division 326)

Astronomy 101/111 discusses our explorations of the solar system. Astronomy 102/112 deals with stars and the rest of the Universe beyond the solar system. Students in Astronomy 101 and 102 attend a weekly discussion section. Students in Astronomy 111 and 112 actively participate in a laboratory which meets in the evening each week. Astronomy 130 covers selected topics from the whole field of astronomy. None of these courses is a prerequisite for any of the others. High school mathematics through plane geometry is useful. All students in each course will have opportunities for a planetarium visit and for evening observations with the telescopes mounted on Angell Hall.

101. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit is granted to those who have completed 111 or 130. (4). (NS).
Section 001.
Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students. For course description, see Astronomy 111, section 001. (Cowley)

Section 007. Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students. For course description, see Astronomy 111, Section 006.

102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 112 or 130. (4). (NS).

Astronomy 102 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 112 students (see course description below). Instead of laboratory sections, Astronomy 102 also incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated homework, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades. (Section 001 MacAlpine, Section 007 Haddock)

111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit is granted to those who have completed 101 or 130. (4). (NS).
Section 001.
Lectures are the same for both Astronomy 101 and 111. They deal with the beginnings of astronomy, motions of bodies in the solar system, time and the seasons, properties of light and atoms, telescopes, the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, individual planets and satellites, comets and meteors, and the origin of the solar system and life. Astronomy 111 has laboratory sections. Astronomy 101 has discussion sections. Course requirements include homework observations, two midterms and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. A planetarium visit will be arranged. (Cowley)

Section 006. Lectures are the same for both Astronomy 101 and 111. They deal with the beginnings of astronomy, motions of bodies in the solar system, properties of light and atoms, the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, individual planets and satellites, comets and meteors, and the origin of the solar system and life. The exploration of the solar system by spacecraft will be emphasized. Astronomy 111 has laboratory sections every week. Astronomy 101 has discussion sections. Course requirements include two midterms and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. A planetarium visit will be arranged.

112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 102 or 130. (4). (NS).

This course is intended primarily for non-science majors, with a basic high school math background, who wish to learn about the phenomena and properties of the Universe beyond our solar system. Astronomy 101 and 111 are not pre-requisites. Lectures will inventory the different types of stars out there and examine how red giants, white dwarfs, black holes, supernovae, and people all fit together in a grand, remarkable scheme. The larger picture includes our Milky Way system, less hospitable exploding galaxies, and mysterious quasars. The present state of knowledge or speculation regarding the origin, ultimate fate, and space-time characteristics of our Universe will also receive special attention. It all ends somewhere, but where...and why? Textbook: Exploring the Cosmos (Fourth Edition) by Berman and Evans. The course grades are to be derived from midterm and final examinations, scheduled quizzes over reading assignments, and laboratory exercises. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes mounted on Angell Hall.

130. Explorations in Astronomy. No credit is granted to those who have completed 101, 102, 111, or 112. (4). (NS).

This course covers selected topics concerning the stars, the galaxy, and the universe. Some of the subjects discussed are: the results of the space program, the life history of stars, interstellar nebulae, pulsars, black holes, normal and peculiar galaxies, quasars, and the evolution of the universe. There are four lectures per week and observations with telescopes and a planetarium visit will be arranged. (Richstone)

221. General Astronomy: The Solar System. Prior or concurrent election of Math. 115. No credit is granted to those who have completed 101, 111, or 130. (4). (NS).

Astronomy 221-222 is a two-term introductory sequence intended primarily for students in the sciences and engineering. In the Fall Term, Astronomy 221 deals with the astronomy and physics of the solar system. Topics covered include: (1) principles of orbit theory; (2) interior structure, surface features and atmospheres of the planets; (3) the minor constituents of the solar system; (4) the sun. Laboratory work will include observations with the telescopes atop Angell Hall, experiments and discussions. Homework problems are assigned almost weekly. Some outside reading will be assigned. There will be two midterm examinations and a final examination. (Teske)

261/NOEP 301. Navigation. (2). (Excl).

See Naval Officer Education Program 301 for description. (Costello)

321. Solar-Terrestrial Relations. Four credits of astronomy. (2). (NS).

For students who wish to learn more about our sun, its activity cycle, and the influence on our earth. Objectives: To work toward a better understanding of the many phenomena observed from ground as well as from satellites. The physical processes involved will be sketched using a minimum of mathematics. Mathematics background is advantageous but not required. Topics as follows: The Quiet Sun: nuclear energy sources in the interior; the surface layers; interplanetary space. The Earth and its Immediate Surroundings: atmosphere, ionosphere, radiation belts. Solar Activity: sunspots, magnetic fields, plages, prominences, corona, flares; the 11/22 year cycle; high-energy radiation and particle events; changes in the earth's atmosphere caused by solar events; possible long term effects. Instruction by lectures with slides and occasional movies. Exercises on interpretation of observations. Evaluation of participation in discussions, two or three tests, final exam, or term paper. (Elste)

421. Advanced General Astronomy. Phys. 140 and 240 and Math. 116, or the equivalent; or permission of instructor. (3). (NS).

50% of the course will be based on independent reading of William K. Hartmann's Moons and Planets (second edition). The remaining 50% of the course will be based on material presented in the lectures. This is divided into 3 parts. Part I deals with the mechanics of the solar system, and covers topics such as the two-body problem, N-body relations, the virial theorem, potential about an oblate spheroid, equations of rigid-body motion, etc. Part II treats geochemistry and cosmochemistry with special reference to the solar system. Included topics are fundamental principles of thermodynamics and chemical reactions, meteorites, geochemical classification of the elements, models of the solar nebula, condensation sequences from the solar nebula and the composition of planets. Part III deals with planetary structure, and emphasizes comparative planetology of the moon and terrestrial planets. The level of difficulty will be similar to that of junior and senior courses in physics and chemistry. (Cowley)


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