Course Description and Goals: In this class we will learn about the Earth, our Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe we live in. We will discuss current ideas about our place in the Universe, how we got here, and where we are headed. By the end of the course you should have a good enough grasp of the fundamentals and vocabulary to easily follow articles on astronomy in the popular press. You will also learn about the methods and telescopes used by modern astronomers.
Instructor: Prof. Greg Taylor; firstname.lastname@example.org; 277-5238; web page
Class Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:45am Class Location: 103 Regener Hall
Course Text: Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, Chaisson and McMillan, 6th ed.
Office Hours: Monday 9-11am Room 180, Physics and Astronomy Bldg. (NE corner of Lomas & Yale), or by appointment.
Required Materials: i-clicker, course textbook including
access code for the Mastering Astronomy website, and two number 2
pencils. NOTE: You will need to register your i-clicker at
http://www.iclicker.com/registration/ following the
directions provided and using your UNM ID (also known as your BANNER ID) as your "Student ID".
Pre-Requisites: None. We will learn some physics concepts and make
use of occasional high-school level algebra and trigonometry.
Homework: There will be regular reading assignments and homework. Reading assignments should be completed BEFORE the class time. Homework assignments will be completed on-line through the Mastering Astronomy web pages. You will have to register at the Mastering Astronomy web site at http://www.masteringastronomy.com/site When you register be sure to put in your UNM_ID as your "Student ID". It is recommended that your login name should be your UNM e-mail, although if you have an existing login name from another course that should work. And be sure to use the COURSE ID which is TAYLOR14178FALL11 Due dates for homework are listed on the syllabus and the homework is due at 6:00pm on the day indicated. For each hour that the homework is turned in late 1 percentage point will be taken off, so if you are 1 full day late you lose 24% of the credit. Your lowest homework score will be dropped in computing your final grade.
Lectures: I will present lectures in powerpoint, with occasional demonstrations. These lectures and the syllabus can be found at the class web page http://www.phys.unm.edu/~gbtaylor/astr101/ that you are reading now. Some material drawn from my own research, or current events, may not be covered in the book. The lectures will be interactive in that I will ask true/false or multiple choice questions of the class and then review the answers. Your participation in responding, and in asking questions of your own is strongly encouraged and will count toward your grade in the class.
Grades: There will be four tests including the final exam, which will not be cumulative, but will only cover material from the last quarter of the class. There will be NO make-up exams, but the lowest exam score will be dropped, so even if one exam is missed it will still be possible to obtain an A in the course. Grades will be based on the exams (66%), homework (22%), and class participation (12%). Answers given during class using the i-clickers will not be scored, but participation will be recorded - note that you must answer more than half the questions during each class to get credit. Clicker questions can also show up on tests. You are responsible for bringing your i-clicker to class - it is not possible with a class this large to arrange for loaned clickers. Note: If you take this class "Credit/No Credit", according to university policy, your final grade must be a "C" or better in order to receive credit.
Help with Homework and Tutoring: The Teaching Assistant for this class, Ken Obenberger, will provide homework help sessions on the day the assignment is due in room 111 of Regener Hall from 4:30-5:30pm. Free tutoring for this class is available through CAPS. Go to http://www.unm.edu/~caps/.
|Schedule of Topics and Reading Assignments|
|23 Aug||Introduction -- Quick Tour of the Universe|
|25 Aug||Charting the Heavens, Foundations of Astronomy||Chap. 0, A-1, A-2|
|30 Aug||The Copernican Revolution||Chap. 1||HW#1 Due|
|1 Sep||Radiation and the Electromagnetic Spectrum||Chap. 2.1-2.4|
|6 Sep||Atoms and Spectroscopy||Chap. 2.5-2.8|
|8 Sep||Telescopes||Chap. 3||HW#2 Due|
|12 Sep||Review for Test #1, Monday 3:20pm|
|13 Sep||Test #1|
|15 Sep||Introduction to the Solar System||Chap. 4.1-4.3|
|20 Sep||The Earth||Chap. 5.1-5.6|
|22 Sep||Our Moon, Mercury and Venus||Chap. 6.1-6.5||HW#3 Due|
|27 Sep||Mars||Chap. 6.6-6.8|
|29 Sep||The Jovian Planets||Chap. 7||HW#4 Due|
|4 Oct||Moons, Rings, Pluto and other Solar System Debris||Chap. 8|
|6 Oct||The Sun||Chap. 9||HW#5 Due|
|10 Oct||Review for Test #2, Monday 3:30pm|
|11 Oct||Test #2|
|13 Oct||Fall Break, no class|
|18 Oct||Measuring the Stars||Chap. 10|
|20 Oct||The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation||Chap. 11|
|25 Oct||Stellar Evolution||Chap. 12.1-12.3||HW#6 Due|
|27 Oct||Stellar Explosions||12.4-12.7|
|1 Nov||Neutron stars, pulsars, and magnetars||Chap. 13.1-13.4||HW#7 Due|
|3 Nov||Black Holes||Chap. 13.5-13.8|
|8 Nov||Special Relativity||HW#8 Due|
|9 Nov||Review for Test #3 at 3:25pm|
|10 Nov||Test #3|
|15 Nov||The Milky Way Galaxy||Chap. 14|
|17 Nov||Galaxies||Chap. 15.1-15.3|
|22 Nov||Active Galaxies||Chap. 15.4-15.5||HW#9 Due|
|24 Nov||Thanksgiving break - No class|
|29 Nov||Clusters of Galaxies||Chap. 16|
|1 Dec||Cosmology||Chap. 17.1-17.3|
|6 Dec||The End of the Universe||Chap. 17.4-17.8||HW#10 Due|
|8 Dec||Life in the Universe||Chap. 18|
|12 Dec||Review for Test 4 at 11am|
|13 Dec 7:30am||Test #4|