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 is granted to those who have completed 111, 130 or 221. (4). (NS).

Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students. For course description, see Astronomy 111. (001: Loudon; 007: Sears)

102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit is granted to those who have completed 112, 130 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 also incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated homework, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades. (Section 001 Gaskell; Section 007 MacAlpine)

111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No credit is granted to those who have completed 101, 130 or 221. (4). (NS).

Lectures (the same for both Astronomy 101 and 111) 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, asteroids, comets and meteors, and the origin of the solar system and life. This course is intended for non-science concentrators with a basic high school math background. Recent results from the space program will be emphasized. Astronomy 111 has two two-hour laboratory sections every week. Astronomy 101 has only discussion sections. Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework observations, quizzes, a midterm and final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. (Section 001 - Loudon; Section 005 Sears)

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

This course is intended primarily for non-science concentrators with a basic high school math background, who wish to learn about the phenomena and properties of the Universe beyond our solar system. Astronomy 101 and 111 are NOT pre-requisites. Lectures will inventory the different types of stars and examine how red giants, white dwarfs, black holes, supernovae, and people all fit together in a grand, remarkable scheme. The larger picture includes our Milky Way system, less hospitable exploding galaxies, and mysterious quasars. The present state of knowledge or speculation regarding the origin, ultimate fate, and space-time characteristics of our Universe will also receive special attention. It all ends somewhere, but where...and why? The course grades are to be derived from midterm and final examinations, scheduled quizzes over reading assignments, and laboratory exercises. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes mounted on Angell Hall. (Section 001 - Gaskell; Section 006 MacAlpine)

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 (2ND ED.) by Zeilik and Smith. Some outside reading will be assigned. Laboratory work will include observations with the telescopes on Angell Hall, experiments, and discussions. There will be homework problems, two midterm examinations, a final examination, and a required term paper. (Teske)

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

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), spectrophotometry (photoelectric and photographic), radiometric techniques, and interferometry. 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). (Excl).

This course is an introduction, at an advanced undergraduate level, to the study of the universe beyond the solar system. The lectures will include the topics: observational data and theoretical concepts of stellar atmospheres, theory of stellar interiors and evolution, the motions and spatial distributions of stars in our galaxy, the interstellar medium, star-forming regions, supernova remnants, galactic structure, normal external galaxies, active galaxies and quasars, and the large scales structure and evolution of the universe. The level of difficulty is comparable to the 400 level physics courses. The course is intended both for astronomy concentrators and upper class engineering and physical science students. (Aller) undergraduate level, to the study of the universe beyond the solar system. The lectures will include the topics: observational data and theoretical concepts of stellar atmospheres, theory of stellar interiors and evolution, the motions and spatial distributions of stars in our galaxy, the interstellar medium, star-forming regions, supernova remnants, galactic structure, normal external galaxies, active galaxies and quasars, and the large scales structure and evolution of the universe. The level of difficulty is comparable to the 400 level physics courses. The course is intended both for astronomy concentrators and upper class engineering and physical science students. (Aller)

520. Cosmochemistry. Astronomy 421, 422 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Survey of the composition and chemical history of matter in the universe. The course begins with a review of mineralogy, petrology (the study of rocks), and chemical thermodynamics. This background is applied to the theory of formation of the terrestrial planets, including the condensation and differentiation of solid materials in the solar nebula, followed by the chemical history of the earth and theories of the origin of the moon. Radioisotope dating is discussed and the concepts applied. Meteorites are discussed as a key to the primitive composition of the solar nebula; the newly discovered isotopic anomalies and their implications are highlighted. The second half of the course deals with the composition of matter beyond the solar system. A resume of atomic and nuclear structure is given. Techniques and the results of chemical analysis of stars and interstellar material are followed by current notions of the nuclear history of matter, starting with the formation of the lightest elements in the big bang, and continuing through stellar nucleosynthesis. Abundances in external galaxies are reviewed, and examined within the context of modes of galaxy formation and history isolated evolution, cannibalism and mergers. (Cowley)


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