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Fall Academic Term 2003 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Fall Academic Term 2003 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Astronomy


This page was created at 6:56 PM on Tue, Sep 23, 2003.

Fall Academic Term, 2003 (September 2 - December 19)


Introductory Courses and Courses for Non-Concentrators.

ASTRO 101/111 discusses our explorations of the solar system. ASTRO 102/112 deals with stars and the rest of the Universe beyond the solar system. Students in ASTRO 101 and 102 attend a weekly discussion section. Students in ASTRO 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 telescopes.


ASTRO 101. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

Instructor(s): Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 111, 115, 130, or 160.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/astro/101/002.nsf

See Astronomy 111.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Instructor(s): Mario L Mateo (mmateo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 112, 130, or 160.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See Astronomy 112.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

Instructor(s): Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 101, 115, 130, or 160.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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.

ASTRO 111 has a two-hour laboratory section every week. ASTRO 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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Instructor(s): Mario L Mateo (mmateo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 102, 130, or 160.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is intended primarily for non-science concentrators, who wish to understand the phenomena and properties of the universe beyond our solar system. There are no astronomy prerequisites, and a basic high school math background (e.g., not calculus) will suffice. Students examine the widest possible range of interrelated natural phenomena, from sub-atomic particles to the Universe as a whole. Lectures inventory the different types of stars and examine how red giants, white dwarfs, black holes, supernovae, and people all fit together in one grand, remarkable scheme. The larger picture includes our Milky Way galaxy, less hospitable exploding galaxies, and enigmatic quasars. The present state of knowledge or speculation regarding the origin and ultimate fate of our universe will also receive special attention. It all came from somewhere, but where...and why? Course grades will be derived from scheduled quizzes or exams, and laboratory exercises. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes (weather permitting).

ASTRO 102 students attend the same lectures as ASTRO 112 students. Instead of laboratory sections, ASTRO 102 incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated exercises, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 115. Modern Planetary Astronomy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles R Cowley (cowley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (Excl). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 101 or 111.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/NEWS115.html

This course presents an introduction to astronomy and astrophysics of the solar system with an emphasis on the discoveries from space exploration. The course begins with a survey of the universe, from the Solar System to the most distant quasars. This survey is followed by a resume of tools used in modern investigations of the solar system from the fields of physics, chemistry, and geology. In addition to traditional astronomical instruments such as telescopes and spectrographs, we survey methods used to study rocks from the Moon, Mars, and meteorites, both in terrestrial laboratories and with instrumentation specially designed for space vehicles. 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. It will have two-hour laboratory sections every week, built around specially designed computer exercises to illustrate the lecture material. Opportunities to learn the constellations and observe with the Angell Hall telescopes are provided on an optional basis.

Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, and a final examination. All text and lab materials are downloadable from the Web: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/intro1.html.

We have developed an introductory course suitable for incoming first-year students as well as upperclass students that covers the Solar System in its current cross-disciplinary setting. In addition to surveys of the planets, stars, and galaxies, this course has lectures devoted to necessary aspects of geology, chemistry, and biology, including laboratory methods as well as background concepts. Similar reviews of physics (e.g., mechanics and spectroscopy), have always been included in introductory astronomy classes. We retain them, of course. While the background scope has been broadened, the overall level of difficulty remains somewhat below the level of AP high school courses. The text has been available on the Web for nearly two years, and it has been used for two terms in some of the sections currently designated ASTRO 101/111 (Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System). The students may download the text, but they are encouraged to devote some time to online study because of the many available links and the ability to do rapid keyword searches. Laboratory exercises, specifically designed to illustrate material presented in text and lectures, may also be downloaded. Three one-hour lectures per week plus one 1-2 hour lab (1 hour if it is offered in the daytime, and 2 hours if offered at night at Angell Hall).

Assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, and a final examination.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 120. Frontiers of Astronomy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Ray Jayawardhana (rayjay@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 125.

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~rayjay/astro120.html

Astronomy is one of the most visible sciences, and regularly captures the public's attention. This course is an overview of our current understanding of the Universe, stressing discoveries of the last few years made with the new generation of Earth-based telescopes, and orbiting observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and high-energy satellites. From this, we will see how astronomers can probe the Universe, using only the stray light and particles from distant objects, and how the need to explain these data enriches our understanding of the physical world. The course will emphasize how scientific discoveries are made, the results circulated, and then popularized. By focusing on such recent discoveries as planetary systems, black hole candidates, 'dark matter' and the large scale structure of the Universe we will learn to examine critically astronomers' claims of exciting new results. The grade will be based on writing assignments, class participation, and quizzes.

Grading: 60% of the course grade will be based on four papers submitted during the term. 20% of the grade will be for class participation, including presentations and critiques of science articles in the popular press as well as your contributions to class discussions. The remaining 20% of the grade will be for a short-answer test following the introductory lectures.

Textbook:
Horizons: Exploring the Universe (Seventh Edition) by Michael A. Seeds.

Topics and Schedule:
The course will consist of six sections of roughly equal duration:

  1. Introductory Lectures.
  2. Telescopes and Instruments.
  3. Planetary Systems around Other Stars.
  4. Neutron Stars and Black Holes.
  5. Dark Matter.
  6. Cosmology: The Big Picture.

Methods: The class is meant to be a seminar. That means your active involvement is critical. The first couple of weeks will be devoted to introductory lectures that will provide a context for the rest of the course. The general plan for tackling the later sections is as follows:

  • I will introduce the topic in a lecture.
  • You will research the subject, working in small groups and individually, bring in material, and questions, for discussion during the next class meeting.
  • You will present your exploration of the subject and answer questions from other members of the class during the next two class meetings. You will HAND IN A DRAFT PAPER at this point; this is a crucial part of the course.
  • A final version of the paper will be due one week after we finish the subject.

Once in a while, we may have a guest speaker in class.

Resources:

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 001, 002 — MEETS 9/3-9/24. (Drop/Add deadline=September 22).

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the observational phenomena that everyone has observed and become familiar with. Students will learn about the nature of the most common astronomical objects that can be observed by eye, such as the sun, moon, planets, and the stars. Students will come to understand astronomical phenomena such as the motion of these objects in the sky and their implications: seasons, phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the perplexing motions of the planets. Another important topic is the changing stellar sky, including the identification of the brighter stars and constellations during the different seasons. Transient objects such as comets and meteors will be discussed, and a meteorite shower will be observed. The course will conclude with a discussion of ancient observatories and the historical efforts by humanity to measure important astronomical phenomena. A planetarium will be one of the primary teaching facilities, but students will make their own observations and also work with computer programs, such as "The Sky." There will be homework assignments and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 003, 004 — MEETS 10/27-12/10 (Drop/Add deadline=November 7).

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the observational phenomena that everyone has observed and become familiar with. Students will learn about the nature of the most common astronomical objects that can be observed by eye, such as the sun, moon, planets, and the stars. Students will come to understand astronomical phenomena such as the motion of these objects in the sky and their implications: seasons, phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the perplexing motions of the planets. Another important topic is the changing stellar sky, including the identification of the brighter stars and constellations during the different seasons. Transient objects such as comets and meteors will be discussed, and a meteorite shower will be observed. The course will conclude with a discussion of ancient observatories and the historical efforts by humanity to measure important astronomical phenomena. A planetarium will be one of the primary teaching facilities, but students will make their own observations and also work with computer programs, such as "The Sky." There will be homework assignments and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 160. Introduction to Astrophysics.

Instructor(s): Hugh D Aller (haller@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: MATH 115, and prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 140 or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in ASTRO 102, 112, or 130.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://helios.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~hugh/ast_160/

This course is an introductory course in astrophysics, intended for science students who have a background in mathematics (MATH 115 level) and physics (prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 140). The lectures will cover selected topics in modern astronomy (loosely following the text book), and the accompanying laboratory is aimed at giving students practical experience in observational techniques. As you might expect, the local weather will have something to do with exactly what is done in each lab.

The grade in this course will be based upon 9-10 problem sets (35%), two exams plus the final (40%) and the laboratory work (25%). Problem sets must be turned in by 5 PM on the due dates: the score on late work drops by 10% per day. In doing the homework, you are encouraged to work/consult with others, but what you submit must be your own.

Information concerning the course: reading assignments, class notes, problem sets, etc., will be available on the World Wide Web at the Astronomy 160 home page.

Textbook: Introductory Astronomy & Astrophysics by Zeilik, & Gregory (Forth Edition)

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 204 / AOSS 204 / GEOSCI 204. The Planets: Their Geology and Climates.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Sushil K Atreya

Prerequisites & Distribution: High school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry. (3). (NS). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Those with credit for GEOSCI 113 may only elect ASTRO 204 for 2 credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See Geological Sciences 204.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 3

ASTRO 261 / NAVSCI 301. Navigation.

Instructor(s): Jeffrey C Babos

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The purpose of this course is to educate students in all aspects of marine navigation, from getting a vessel underway from port through open ocean navigation using both celestial and electronic means. The content of the course is divided into three major areas. The first section focuses on piloting, emphasizing the safe navigation of vessels in coastal waters. This section provides an introduction to navigational instruments and aids to navigation. The second section concerns celestial navigation, the ability to determine position through observation of celestial bodies. Students learn how to determine position based on the use of the sextant and various almanacs and mathematical tables. The third section of the course considers electronic navigation. The course consists of two ninety-minute lectures a week. Grading is done on the basis of homework, quizzes, a project, and examinations. The primary textbooks for the course are Marine Navigation I and Marine Navigation II by Richard R. Hobbs.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 389. Individual Studies in Astronomy.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course consists of individual reading and study in astronomy under the guidance of the instructor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

ASTRO 399. Introduction to Research.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term of ASTRO 399, the final grade is posted for both term's elections.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is for students in Astronomy who are prepared to undertake a limited research project under the guidance of a member of the staff of the Department of Astronomy. ASTRO 399 is open to qualified students in other departments and is subject to approval by concentration advisors and members of the staff of the Department of Astronomy.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of instructor/department required.

ASTRO 402. Stellar Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles R Cowley (cowley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: MATH 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 340. (3). (Excl). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/NEWS402.html

This course is a survey of stellar astronomy and astrophysics, building upon an elementary background of basic physics, mechanics, and interaction of radiation and matter (atomic spectra). No astronomy course is a prerequisite, although students who have not had any astronomy may find it helpful to read an introductory text book for overviews. Course topics include: basic stellar data; celestial mechanics and binary stars; stellar atmospheres and abundances of the chemical elements; stellar interiors, evolution, and nucleosynthesis; and space distributions and motions of stars in the Galaxy. Course work includes homework exercises, hour exams, and a final exam.

TEXT: Fundamental Astronomy (Karttunen, Kroger, Oja, Poutanen, and Donner 3rd Ed.: Springer-Verlag).

STRUCTURE: There will be two one hour quizzes to be given on 6 October and 3 November. The first quiz will cover Chapters 1, 3, 7, and 10, the second Chapters 4, 5, 6, 11, and 15. The final examination will cover Chapters 12, 17, 18, and 2 in addition to the preceding 10 chapters; the latter chapters of the book will be emphasized. The final will be on Tuesday, 19 December, from 1:30 to 3:30pm.

PROBLEMS: Problem sets will be assigned in class, typically on Mondays, and they will usually be due the following Mondays. Of the assigned problems, ONE will be graded in detail. WHICH one will be graded will not be decided upon until after the papers are collected! Complete answer sheets will be passed out when the problem sets are returned. It is your responsibility to be sure that you know how to work ALL of the problems, not just the ones that are graded. Feel free to ask questions at ANY time (other than MWF before class) about the problems.

LECTURES: The lectures will not follow the text closely, but will highlight selected topics. The first third of the lectures will be on the properties of stars, their colors and spectral types, and the orbital mechanics of double stars. The second third will deal with stellar structure and evolution. We will then discuss the theory of atomic and stellar spectra, and work out in a very simple way how we know the physical conditions and abundances in stellar atmospheres. This will probably overlap with the final third, which if time permits, will treat stars and stellar nucleosynthesis within the context of the structure of our Galaxy.

COMPUTING: Some problem sets will involve programming, and running programs on the department's SUNs which use the UNIX operating system. You will need a basic knowledge of UNIX, which will be sufficient to allow you to create and open files, write text to them, process the files with a compiler, and execute compiled code. Instructions will be passed out with the problem sets, telling you how to run the programs as well as how to get set up with the appropriate operating system. If you are unfamiliar with MS-DOS, the basic command language of PC's as well as WINDOWS*, you should work at this too. A few of the programs written for this course are in PASCAL or C, but the majority are in FORTRAN.

GRADES: The (average of the) two hour quizzes, the final examination, and the problem sets will each count roughly 1/3 of the total grade. The hour quizzes and the final examination will have two parts, one from the text, weighted 30%, and one from the lectures, weighted 70%. You will be expected to have a QUALITATIVE understanding of the material in the text; the quantitative and analytical aspects of the course will come from the lectures.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

ASTRO 403. Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): John D Monnier (monnier@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: MATH 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 240 (or 260). (3). (Excl). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~monnier/Courses/2003Fall_AY403.html

This course examines the various types of gaseous components and their interaction with stars through the processes of star formation, stellar mass loss, photoionization of gas by hot stars, and supernova explosions. The interstellar medium (the gas between stars) comprises a wide variety of material that interacts closely, and often violently, with individual stars and the host galaxy. First, the underlying atomic and molecular physics is developed and then we examine how gas is ionized by hot stars and by supernova remnants. We analyze the content of the cold pervasive atomic and molecular gas in the galaxy, how it often lies in spiral arms, and why giant molecular clouds are the most active sites of star formation. Finally, recent discoveries are highlighted, such as the presence of galactic "cirrus" as seen from the dust distribution.

Primary Textbook:

  • "The Physics of the Interstellar Medium (2nd edition)" by J.E. Dyson and D.A. Williams

    (Copies should be available at Ulrich's and online bookstores; one copy has been placed on reserve at the Shapiro Science Library)

Recommended Readings: Other potentially useful texts will be placed on reserve at the Shapiro Science Library. These include:

  • "The Physics of Astrophysics. Volumes I (Radiation) and II (Gas Dynamics)" by Frank Shu
  • "Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium" by Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
  • "Microwave Spectroscopy" by Charles Townes and Art Schawlow
  • "Astrophysics of the Diffuse Universe" by Michael A. Dopita and Ralph S. Sutherland

Grading Policies: Grades in this course will be based on several components. There will be regular homework assignments, every one or two weeks, covering the lectures and assigned reading (generally from the course textbook, but also including outside sources). There will be one conventional hour-long exam given during the academic term (a midterm) plus a 2-hour final exam; these exams will account for 45% of your final grade. Lastly, participation in classroom discussions will be an important component of your grade as well. The final grading will be done according to the following :
Homework 40%
Final Exam 30%
Midterm Exam 15%
Participation 15%

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 429. Senior Seminar.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Joel N Bregman (jbregman@umich.edu) , Rebecca A Bernstein (rabernst@umich.edu) , Charles R Cowley (cowley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open only to senior concentrators. ASTRO 401, 402, and 404. (2). (Excl). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (2).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Student-faculty discussion of selected problems in two or three currently active areas. This is also the Astronomy Department's senior writing course. Attendance at weekly department colloquia is required.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.


Graduate Course Listings for ASTRO.


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