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Winter Academic Term 2002 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter Academic Term 2002 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Astronomy


This page was created at 5:15 PM on Fri, Mar 22, 2002.

Winter Academic Term, 2002 (January 7 - April 26)

Open courses in Astronomy
(*Not real-time Information. Review the "Data current as of: " statement at the bottom of hyperlinked page)

Wolverine Access Subject listing for ASTRO

Winter Academic Term '02 Time Schedule for Astronomy.


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.


ASTRO 101. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

Section 001 Meets with Astronomy 111.001.

Instructor(s): Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 111, 115, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/sears/W02/101111/NEWS.html

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

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Section 001 Meets with Astronomy 112.001.

Instructor(s): Gary Bernstein (garyb@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/Course/Bernstein102/

Astronomy 102 and 112 students attend the same lectures. Instead of laboratory sections, Astronomy 102 incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated exercises which are considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades.

Course Description: This course is an introduction to a large part of modern Astronomy: stars and their structure and evolution; galaxies; cosmology. It is essentially non-mathematical, although values for lengths and times, masses, luminosities, etc. will be widely used, and a simple equation will be presented from time to time. The course will not cover the history of Astronomy, or our Solar System (Earth, Moon, planets, comets, etc.); those topics are dealt with in the course "Introduction to the Solar System," which may be taken in the Fall, Winter, or Spring terms.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Section 007 Meets with Astronomy 112.006.

Instructor(s): Rebecca Bernstein (rabernst@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/Course/Bernstein102/

Astronomy 102 and 112 students attend the same lectures. Instead of laboratory sections, Astronomy 102 incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated exercises, which are considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades.

This course is an introduction to a large part of modern Astronomy: stars and their structure and evolution; galaxies; cosmology. It is essentially non-mathematical, although values for lengths and times, masses, luminosities, etc. will be widely used, and a simple equation will be presented from time to time. The course will not cover the history of Astronomy, or our Solar System (Earth, Moon, planets, comets, etc.); those topics are dealt with in the course "Introduction to the Solar System," which may be taken in the Fall, Winter, or Spring terms.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

Section 001 Meets with Astronomy 101.001.

Instructor(s): Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 115, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/sears/F00/101111/NEWS.html

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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Section 001 Meets with Astronomy 102.001.

Instructor(s): Gary Bernstein (garyb@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/Course/Bernstein102/

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 without 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).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Section 006 Meets with Astronomy 101.007.

Instructor(s): Rebecca Bernstein (rabernst@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/Course/Bernstein102/

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 without 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).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 115. Modern Planetary Astronomy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles R Cowley (cowley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Astro. 101 or 111. (4). (Excl). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/NEWS115.html

This course presents an introduction to astronomy and astrophysics of the solar system with an emphasis on the discoveries from space exploration. The course begins with a survey of the universe, from the Solar System to the most distant quasars. This survey is followed by a resume of tools used in modern investigations of the solar system from the fields of physics, chemistry, and geology. In addition to traditional astronomical instruments such as telescopes and spectrographs, we survey methods used to study rocks from the Moon, Mars, and meteorites, both in terrestrial laboratories and with instrumentation specially designed for space vehicles. 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. It will have two-hour laboratory sections every week, built around specially designed computer exercises to illustrate the lecture material. Opportunities to learn the constellations and observe with the Angell Hall telescopes are provided on an optional basis. Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, midterm, and a final examination. All text and lab materials are downloadable from the Web: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/intro1.html. We have developed an introductory course suitable for incoming first-year students as well as upperclass students that covers the Solar System in its current cross-disciplinary setting. In addition to surveys of the planets, stars, and galaxies, this course has lectures devoted to necessary aspects of geology, chemistry, and biology, including laboratory methods as well as background concepts. Similar reviews of physics (e.g., mechanics and spectroscopy), have always been included in introductory astronomy classes. We retain them, of course. While the background scope has been broadened, the overall level of difficulty remains somewhat below the level of AP high school courses. The text has been available on the Web for nearly two years, and it has been used for two terms in some of the sections currently designated Astronomy 101/111 (Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System). The students may download the text, but they are encouraged to devote some time to online study because of the many available links and the ability to do rapid keyword searches. Laboratory exercises, specifically designed to illustrate material presented in text and lectures, may also be downloaded. Three one-hour lectures per week plus one 1-2 hour lab (1 hour if it is offered in the daytime, and 2 hours if offered at night at Angell Hall).

Assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, midterm and a final examination.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 125. Observational Astronomy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Jason Pinkney (jpinkney@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Some knowledge of basic physics is helpful but not necessary. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Astro. 120. (4). (NS). (BS).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/jpinkney/AST125/syll-f01.html

This course will teach how astronomical discoveries are made, by addressing hypothetical 'what if' questions in astronomy. These case studies will provide insights into fundamental physical laws that rule the universe, as well as demonstrating how fine-tuned we are with the special environment we live in. Students will gain experience with the optical telescopes on campus as well as with computers, which are necessary for some of the labs. Through hands-on observing experience, students will understand how astronomical research is conducted and will discuss the merits and pitfalls of such observations. Some of the topics to be featured include measuring the distance to the Moon, measuring the size and expansion rate of the Universe, the moons of Jupiter, the evolution of stars, the creation of the elements, and the cosmic background radiation of the Big Bang. The course structure involves writing assignments, laboratory and observing exercises, introductory lectures by the instructor, and discussions led by individual students. One evening observing laboratory per week. Some knowledge of basic physics is helpful but not necessary.

Text: Astronomy Today, Chaisson & McMillan, third edition.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 001, 003 (Drop/Add deadline=January 27).

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (NS). (BS).

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/lou47/astro127_f01/

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the observational phenomena that everyone has observed and become familiar with. Students will learn about the nature of the most common astronomical objects that can be observed by eye, such as the sun, moon, planets, and the stars. Students will come to understand astronomical phenomena such as the motion of these objects in the sky and their implications: seasons, phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the perplexing motions of the planets. Another important topic is the changing stellar sky, including the identification of the brighter stars and constellations during the different seasons. Transient objects such as comets and meteors will be discussed and a meteorite shower will be observed. The course will conclude with a discussion of ancient observatories and the historical efforts by humanity to measure important astronomical phenomena. A planetarium will be one of the primary teaching facilities, but students will make their own observations and also work with computer programs, such as "The Sky." There will be homework assignments and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 002, 004 (Drop/Add deadline=March 15).

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (NS). (BS).

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the observational phenomena that everyone has observed and become familiar with. Students will learn about the nature of the most common astronomical objects that can be observed by eye, such as the sun, moon, planets, and the stars. Students will come to understand astronomical phenomena such as the motion of these objects in the sky and their implications: seasons, phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the perplexing motions of the planets. Another important topic is the changing stellar sky, including the identification of the brighter stars and constellations during the different seasons. Transient objects such as comets and meteors will be discussed and a meteorite shower will be observed. The course will conclude with a discussion of ancient observatories and the historical efforts by humanity to measure important astronomical phenomena. A planetarium will be one of the primary teaching facilities, but students will make their own observations and also work with computer programs, such as "The Sky." There will be homework assignments and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 160. Introduction to Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Joel Bregman (jbregman@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Math. 115, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 140 or 160. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 112, or 130. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 361. Astronomical Techniques.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Joel Bregman (jbregman@umich.edu) , Richard L. Sears (sears@umich.edu) , Mario Mateo (mateo@umich.edu) , Gary Bernstein (garyb@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Astro. 160. (4). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is intended primarily for students concentrating in Astronomy, but other science and engineering students may elect it as well. It is an introduction to various techniques for obtaining and analyzing observational data. The areas covered are stellar trigonometric distance (parallax), imaging and photometry with electronic detectors, radiometric techniques, and interferometry.

In addition, to provide expertise needed in the analysis of observational data, there will be a series of lectures on error theory and least squares. Students will use optical telescopes and instrumentation at the Radio Observatory near Dexter to make observations. 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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 399. Introduction to Research.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is 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. Astronomy 399 is open to qualified students in other departments and is subject to approval by concentration advisors and members of the staff of the Department of Astronomy.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

ASTRO 404. Galaxies and the Universe.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Rachel Somerville (rachel@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Math. 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 340. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~rachel/astro404.html

This course focuses on the content of the universe on size scales larger than individual stars. We will study the mechanics of stellar orbits and the structure of galaxies, the evidence for dark matter in our galaxy and others, the interstellar gas in galaxies, the morphology of galaxies, and evolution of stellar populations.

On scales larger than individual galaxies, we will study the structure and dynamics of clusters of galaxies and larger scale structure. On even larger scales, we will look at the evolution of the universe as a whole, the cosmic microwave background radiation and inferences from its smoothness, and the formation of galaxies and structure on larger scales. This class is designed for science concentrators interested in a fairly serious introduction to the subject, and for upper-level Astronomy concentrators.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Graduate Course Listings for ASTRO.


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