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 deal 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. Astronomy 130 covers selected topics from the whole field of astronomy. 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 or 130. (4). (NS).
Section 001.
Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students. For course description, see Astronomy 111, Section 001.

Section 006. Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students. For course description, see Astronomy 111, Section 007.

102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 112 or 130. (4). (NS).
Section 001.
Astronomy 102 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 112 students. For the course description, see Astronomy 112, Section 001. (Teske)

Section 006. See Astronomy 112, Section 007.

111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit is granted to those who have completed 101 or 130. (4). (NS).
Section 001.
Lectures are the same for both Astronomy 101 and 111. They deal with the beginnings of astronomy, motions of bodies in the solar system, time and the seasons, properties of light and atoms, telescopes, the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, individual planets and satellites, comets and meteors, and the origin of the solar system and life. Astronomy 111 has laboratory sections. Astronomy 101 has discussion sections. Course requirements include homework observations, six short quizzes, two midterms and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. A planetarium visit will be arranged.

Section 007. Lectures are the same for both Astronomy 101 and 111. They deal with the beginnings of astronomy, motions of bodies in the solar system, properties of light and atoms, the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, individual planets and satellites, comets and meteors, and the origin of the solar system and life. The exploration of the solar system by spacecraft will be emphasized. Astronomy 111 has laboratory sections every week. Astronomy 101 has discussion sections. Course requirements include two midterms and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. A planetarium visit will be arranged.

112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 102 or 130. (4). (NS).
Section 001.
This course is intended primarily for non-science majors and it is not necessary for a student in it to have taken Astro 101 or 111 as a pre-requisite. The subject of the course is the astronomical description of the Universe beyond the solar system. We will examine the properties of stars, of the material in space between the stars, and of the galaxies, and will give special attention to current scientific views about the nature and origin of the Universe. There will be quizzes, two midterm examinations, and a final examination. Astronomy 102 students will have homework connected with their discussion sections; Astronomy 112 students will work on laboratory exercises. The discussion sections and laboratory sections will include planetarium demonstrations and observing sessions with the telescopes.

Section 007. Lectures are the same for Astronomy 102 and 112. This course treats modern ideas concerning the origin and evolution of stars, galaxies, and of the Universe as a whole. The lectures emphasize current knowledge of the formation and evolution of stars toward their ultimate destiny as white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes. The course will outline the evidence that the Universe is currently expanding from a hot dense phase in the distant past toward a fate that is accessible to observation. Specific objects such as supernovae, quasars, and galaxies are also examined. Course work includes assigned reading, short quizzes, midterm and final examinations, and section meetings. Astronomy 112 students have evening laboratory and observation periods every other week, and daytime discussions in alternative weeks. Astronomy 102 has only discussion sections.

164. Cosmology II. (4). (NS).

This course will acquaint students with the latest results and speculations on the nature of active and exploding galaxies, quasars, and pulsars. New data on and modifications of the black-hole model for quasars will be presented. Lectures will also be given on space, time, simultaneity, and causality in special relativity, the principle of equivalence and geodesics in curved spacetime in general relativity, including photon paths and time changes near black holes. The course objective is to increase interest in and understanding of science by students with little background in science and mathematics. No course prerequisites. Not open to students with science background. (Haddock)

222. General Astronomy: Astrophysics and the Universe. Astronomy 221 and Math 115 or permission of instructor. No credit is granted to those who have completed 102, 112, or 130. (4). (NS).

This course deals with the astronomy and physics of objects beyond the solar system. (1) Stars: distances, properties, interior structure, and evolution. (2) Our galaxy: structure, dynamics, interstellar matter. (3) Galaxies: distribution and properties. (4) Cosmology: present ideas about the origin, evolution and structure of the Universe. Textbook: Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics, by Smith and Jacobs. Some outside reading will be assigned. Laboratory work will include observations with the telescopes in Angell Hall, experiments and discussions. There will be homework problems, periodic quizzes, two one-hour examinations, and an optional term paper. (Aller)

361. Astronomical Techniques. Astronomy 222 or permission of instructor. (4). (NS).

This course is intended primarily for students concentrating in astronomy, but other science and engineering students may elect it. It is an introduction to various techniques for obtaining and analyzing observational data. The areas covered are stellar trigonometric distance (parallax), stellar photographic spectrophotometry, and radiometric techniques. In addition, early in the course there will be a series of lectures on error theory and least squares, to provide expertise needed in the analysis of observational data. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period each week. Course work will also include homework, exercises and reading in original sources but there are no examinations. (Aller, Elste, Sears)

422. Advanced General Astronomy. Astronomy 421 or permission of instructor. (3). (NS).

This course is an introduction to the study of the Universe beyond the Solar System. Emphasis will be placed on topics selected from the following: The structure and evolution of stars; creation of the chemical elements; X-ray stars, pulsars and black holes; the dynamics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies; radio galaxies and quasars; and cosmology. The primary means of evaluation will be exams. The difficulty is comparable to junior or senior courses in physics and chemistry. Text: The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy by F. H. Shu (University Science Books, Mill Valley, California, l982). (Richstone)


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