Winter '99 Course Guide

Courses in Astronomy (Division 326)

Winter Term, 1999 (January 6-April 29, 1999)

Take me to the Winter Term '99 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.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 111, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/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. 101. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 111, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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/Bregman102/

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 are considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

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

Instructor(s): Gordon MacAlpine (gmm@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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/MacAlpine.html

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 are considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/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: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/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: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

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

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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/Bregman102/

Three lectures and a two-hour evening laboratory section each week. Lectures deal with such topics as the properties and evolution of stars; interstellar luminous nebulae; recent discoveries involving galaxies, quasars, and black holes in space; and the present state of our knowledge regarding the origin and ultimate fate of the universe and possibilities of finding and communicating with life outside the solar system. The laboratories and discussions feature planetarium demonstrations, observation with telescopes, and student-inspired dialogue. Familiarity with logarithms and basic geometry is recommended.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

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

Instructor(s): Gordon MacAlpine (gmm@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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/MacAlpine.html

Three lectures and a two-hour evening laboratory section each week. Lectures deal with such topics as the properties and evolution of stars; interstellar luminous nebulae; recent discoveries involving galaxies, quasars, and black holes in space; and the present state of our knowledge regarding the origin and ultimate fate of the universe and possibilities of finding and communicating with life outside the solar system. The laboratories and discussions feature planetarium demonstrations, observation with telescopes, and student-inspired dialogue. Familiarity with logarithms and basic geometry is recommended.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 125. Observational Astronomy.

Instructor(s): Patrick Seitzer (seitzer@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: 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/Course/Seitzer125

This course will teach how astronomical discoveries are made, from what naked eye observations tell us about the solar system and the universe (example: why is the night sky dark?) through what modern telescopes on the ground and in space tell us. We will use all available optical telescopes on campus to explore the different types of telescopes and how they are used to explore the universe. Through this, students will learn how modern astronomical research is conducted. The course will involve lectures, assigned readings, written assignments, and one evening laboratory session per week.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 001, 003 Mini-Course Meets Jan 6 To Feb 24

Instructor(s): Julia Plummer (plummerj@umich.edu)

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

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/Course/Plummer127/

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 on 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: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 002, 004 Mini-Course Meets Mar 8 To Apr 19. Drop/Add deadline: March 19

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

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

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 on 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: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 160. Introduction to Astrophysics.

Instructor(s): Mario Mateo (mateo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Math. 115, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 140. 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: 3

Astro. 361. Astronomical Techniques.

Instructor(s): Hugh Aller (hugh@umich.edu) , Gary Bernstein (garyb@umich.edu) , Gary Bernstein (rlsears@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. 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, there will be a series of lectures on error theory and least squares, to provide expertise needed in the analysis of observational data. Students will use optical telescopes and instrumentation and 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: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Astro. 389. Individual Studies in Astronomy.

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

No Description Provided.

Check Times, Location, and Availability


Astro. 399. Introduction to Research.

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

No Description Provided.

Check Times, Location, and Availability


Astro. 401. Solar System Astrophysics.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phys. 140 and Math. 116, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 240. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/w99.html

30% of the course will be based on independent reading of William K. Hartman's Moons and Planets (second edition). The remaining 70% of the course will be based on material presented in the lectures. This is divided into three parts. Part I deals with the mechanics of the solar system, and covers topics such as the two-body problem, N-body relations, the virial theorem, potential about an oblate spheroid, equations of rigid-body motion, etc. Part II treats geochemistry and cosmochemistry with special reference to the solar system. Included topics are fundamental principles of thermodynamics and chemical reactions, meteorites, geochemical classification of the elements, models of the solar nebula, condensation sequences from the solar nebula and the composition of planets. Part III deals with planetary structure, and emphasizes comparative planetology of the moon and terrestrial planets. Weekly problem sets are assigned, some of which require running programs on the Astronomy LAN or PCs. While students are not required to write their own programs, a knowledge of one or more high-level languages (FORTRAN, C, Pascal) will be useful. The level of difficulty will be similar to that of junior and senior courses in physics and chemistry.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 3

Astro. 404. Galaxies and the Universe.

Instructor(s): Mario Mateo (mateo@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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: 2 Waitlist Code: 3

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