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, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students (see course description below). (Sears)

102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

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 exercises, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades. Cost:2 WL:4 (MacAlpine)

111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

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 (Sears)

112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

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:2 WL:4 (MacAlpine)

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). (BS).

See Geological Science 204. (Atreya)

261/Naval Science 301. Navigation. (2). (Excl). (BS).

See Naval Science 301.

389. Individual Studies in Astronomy. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Individual reading and study in astronomy under the guidance of the instructor.

399. Introduction to Research. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

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. Open to qualified students in other departments subject to approval by concentration advisers and members of the staff of the Department of Astronomy.

405. High Energy Astrophysics. Math. 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 340 (or 242). (3). (Excl). (BS).

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

429. Senior Seminar. Open only to senior concentrators. Astro. 401, 402, and 404. (2). (Excl). (BS).

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.


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