Courses in Astronomy (Division 326)

INTRODUCTORY COURSES AND COURSES FOR NON-CONCENTRATORS. 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. 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, 130 or 221. (4). (NS).

SECTION 001. Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students. For course description, see Astronomy 111. (Section 001 Elste; Section 006 Schombert)

102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 112, 130 or 222. (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 Gaskell; Section 007 Bothum)

111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit is granted to those who have completed 101, 130 or 221. (4). (NS).

This course presents an introduction to the field of astronomy and astrophysics with an emphasis on the discoveries from space exploration. The first third of the course deals with understanding the history of astronomy, orbits, gravitation, optics and the properties of light and matter. The rest of the course explores the properties, origin and evolution of the major planets, asteroids, comets, the Sun and other components of the Solar System with particular emphasis on comparative aspects with respect to the Earth. The origin and formation of the Solar System and the origin of life will also be discussed. This course is intended for non-science concentrators with a basic high school math and science background. Astronomy 111 has a two-hour laboratory section every week. Astronomy 101 has a one-hour discussion section. Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, midterm and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. (Section 001 Schombert; Section 007 Elste)

112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 102, 130 or 222. (4). (NS).

SECTION 001. This course is intended primarily for non-science concentrators 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 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? The course grades are to be derived from in-class tests, final examinations and laboratory exercise. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes mounted on Angell Hall. (Gaskell)

Section 006. Same description as above section. Course grades are to be derived from midterm and final examinations, scheduled quizzes over reading assignments, and laboratory exercises. (Bothun)

204/AOSS 204. Introduction to Planetary and Space Science. High school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry. (3). (NS).

This course will present the development of space exploration with a concentration on the major scientific breakthroughs resulting from the exploration of the solar system by the U.S. and Soviet spacecraft. The course is intended for non-science majors: high school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry is recommended. The emphasis will be on comparative atmospheric phenomena, and the impact its study has had on the understanding of our own (terrestrial) environment. Topics will include the constraints that the environment of space places on the design of space probes, the history of space science in studying the Earth's environment, and the deep-space missions to the other planets and Comet Halley. (There will be two one-hour lectures a week, a one-hour discussion section, and two to three hourly exams. This course can be used to satisfy the LSA science requirement. (J.Clarke)

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. Offered 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.

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

See Navy Officer Education 301. (Lt. Dinobile)

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

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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