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 granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 111, 130, 160, or 221. (4). (NS).

Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students (see course description below). (Section 001:Sears; Section 006:Staff)

102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112, 130, 160, 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 incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated homework, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades. Cost:2 WL:4 (Section 001:MacAlpine; Section 006:Seitzer)

111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled 101, 130, 160, 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. COST:2 WL:4 (Section 001:Sears; Section 005:Staff)

112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 130, 160, or 222. (4). (NS).

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) is sufficient. We will 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 how? Course grades will be derived from scheduled quizzes, a midterm and a final exam, and laboratory exercises. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes (weather permitting) mounted on Angell Hall. Cost:3 WL:4 (Section 001:MacAlpine; Section 006:Seitzer)

160. Introduction to Astrophysics. Math. 115, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 140; or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 112, 130, 221, or 222. (4). (NS).

This course introduces students with some science and math background to methods and concepts of modern astrophysics. Topics: astrophysical processes; modern telescopes and instrumentation; stellar spectra, motions, and atmospheres; stellar interiors and nuclear energy generation; evolution of stars and their planetary systems from birth in giant molecular clouds to deaths as white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes; stellar systems, our Milky Way galaxy; dark matter and interactions in galaxies; the distribution of galaxies and quasars in the Universe; cosmic background radiation and the Big Bang. Problem sets and a weekly two-hour laboratory using telescopes on Angell Hall. Cost:2 WL:3 (Aller)

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 LS&A science requirement.

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

See Naval Science 301.

402. Stellar Astrophysics. Math. 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 242; or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed Astro. 422. (3). (Excl).

The lectures begin with a survey of the observational data of stellar astronomy: distances, masses, colors, spectra, binary stars, open and globular clusters, and the HR Diagram. The following topics will then be highlighted: Atomic and Molecular Structure, Radiative and Convective Energy Transfer, The Structure and Composition of Stellar Atmospheres, The Equations of Stellar Structure, Stellar Models, Stellar Evolution, and Nucleosynthesis. The lectures will not follow the text, which will be used to fill in areas not specifically covered in class. Planned text: Frank Shu's The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy. Cost:2 WL:3 (Cowley)

405. High Energy Astrophysics. Math. 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 242; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Astronomical phenomena are often violent, naturally producing energetic particles under exotic circumstances. This course examines the underlying astrophysics of such objects. We begin with high energy radiation processes and basic fluid mechanics. This physics is applied to accretion onto black holes and other compact objects and the astronomical phenomena that result. We will also study supernovae, the origin of X-ray and Gamma-ray background radiation fields, Gamma-ray bursts, and cosmic rays. Cost:2 WL:3 (Richstone and Bregman)


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