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 telescopes.

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: Bernstein)

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 in 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: Bernstein)

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) 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). Cost:3 WL:4 (Section 001:MacAlpine; Section 006:Seitzer)

130. Explorations in Astronomy. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 102, 111, 112, 160, 221, or 222. (4). (NS).

This course is a one-term exploration of a few selected topics representing all of astronomy. Here are a few examples of possible topics. 1) The stars: how we are able to learn about them, how they evolve and die, how they produce chemical elements and generate energy. 2) The formation of stars and solar systems. What we are learning about star formation. How our solar system tells us about star formation. Recent developments in our understanding of the planets during our age of planetary exploration. 3) Cosmology: the expansion of the universe, and its eventual fate. The formation of structure and of galaxies, the cosmic radiation fields. This course will include assigned reading, some homework, quizzes, a midterm and a final. Cost:2 WL:4 (Richstone)

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).

Some of the most exciting phenomena and concepts in astronomy and astrophysics are explored in this survey course. One major theme is the structure and evolution of stars from their birth in giant molecular clouds through their death as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Another important theme is galaxies, with discussions about the missing or dark matter in galaxies, galaxy-galaxy interactions, and the large-scale distribution of galaxies in the Universe. We conclude with an examination of the Big Bang, the Inflationary Universe, and the Cosmic Background radiation. This course is directed toward students with an interest in science and mathematics. There are problem sets and a weekly two-hour laboratory using telescopes. Cost:2 WL:3 (Mateo)

204/AOSS 204/Geology 204. The Planets: Their Geology and Climates. High school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry. Those with credit for GS 113 may only elect Astro. 204 for 2 credits. (3). (NS).

See Geological Sciences 204. (Atreya and Pollack)

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

See Navy OEP 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: Fundamental Astronomy (Karttunen et al.). 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 (Bregman)


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