| Department: Physics and Astronomy
Class time and place: MWF,9:00-9:50 am, Me 113
Section: 1 (CRN=30769)
Instructor: Dr. Jason Pinkney
Office hours: in 111 Science Annex at 10 am Tue, 1-3 pm Wed, and 10-12 Thu.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-772-2740.
Instructor's Home page: https://jpastro.net
Credit hours: 3
Observatory Phone: 772-4028
This is a nice link about solving word problems.
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
SkyMaps.pdf Color version of all 4 constellation sheets.
Interactive scale of the universe.
Astronomy Today, 9/E (9th Edition) by Chaisson and McMillan.
This 2017 edition has a "rent-only" ISBN-13 of 978-0134450278. This is what we
have in the bookstore. Do NOT buy the Volume 1 or 2 versions
("The Solar System" and "Stars and Galaxies"). Cost of rental should
be about $76. I don't require you to bring the text to class.
Stars and Galaxies is an introductory astronomy course. You will learn about the nature of stars, galaxies and the universe. The details of our solar system are left to PHYS 1051. We will begin with a survey of the naked-eye universe (mostly nearby objects) and end with cosmology (the distant universe). In-between we will discuss such topics as the electromagnetic spectrum, the sunspot cycle, how stars are born and die, and galaxies. A recurrent theme will be distances and the distance ladder , a battery of techniques that take us all the way out to the most distant objects, quasars. A tentative calendar of topics is outlined below.
Physics 1061 fulfills a general education learning outcome called 'knowledge of the physical/natural world'. Thus, you will be encouraged to improve your science knowledge and skills. Science "skills" include critical thinking, problem solving, use of mathematics, observing, and experimentation. I hope that it will become second nature for you to ask "how do they know that?" when presented with facts like "the age of the universe is 13.8 billion years". Another course objective is learning how certain physics principles, like conservation of momentum, can be applied to astronomical objects like stars and galaxies. Still another is to see how our astronomy class relates to current events in the world around us -- you will get extra credit for reporting astronomy news items in class. Since this is an introductory course, I will try to make the tests nearly math-free. But you will still be exposed to math in homework, lectures and activities.
The lab for this class, PHYS 1091 (1 hr), is intended for astronomy minors and physics majors with an astronomy core You need my approval to enroll in the lab. If you are enrolled, expect to hear from me within a week about choosing a meeting time.
You might consider being an astronomy minor if a good familiarity with astronomy would complement your current major. Consider entering an exciting field like astrobiology, astrochemistry, archeoastronomy, cosmochemistry, science education, science illustration, or science journalism.
Your visits to the ONU Observatory will weigh into the "Observing" portion of your grade (see below). You should try to visit at least 3 times for "A" work. There is a legal pad in the control room that you must sign for credit. I plan to be at the observatory for 1 hour on Friday nights (if < 50 % cloudcover) so that I can help you fulfill your observing duties. Another time to visit is during meetings of the ONU Astronomy Club every other Wednesday night at 9 pm. I may resume "Public Events" (or at least ONU Events) this semester when covid-19 subsides. These are held on Friday nights for two hours. When you visit, bring along your Constellation Sheets and observing forms (see below), and try to get some views through our telescopes and binoculars. I should be able to help you on your sheets and forms, even though my attention may be divided. However, it is best if you label your constellation sheets before going out to the observatory. You should bring a friend or two (not necessarily signed up in the class) for the long, dark walk to and from the Observatory.
|Observing|| Observing Forms, 3+ visits to Observatory
|In-class||Homework, in-class activities, participation||20%|
|Quizzes||Quizzes (drop lowest grade)||25%|
|Exams||There will be two exams and a final.||50%|
I will not grade any "harder" than the above. However, if the class mean drops below 75, I will grade more leniently.
||Syllabus. Powers of 10 Cosmology.||1||Survey
||Naked Eye Universe, Celestial Sphere||1|
||Celestial Sphere: coordinates, seasons
||Time, precession, parallax. History
||History: Geocentric vs Heliocentric solar system
||History: Kepler, Newton, the A.U.
||Light & Spectroscopy||3, 4|
|| Spring Break
||The Sun - Observatory visit
||Stellar Evol. - low-mass stars like Sun
||Stellar Evol. - High mass, supernovae
|| Easter Break
||The Milky Way Galaxy
|| Galaxies / The Distance Ladder
|| quiz 7
||Turn in constel. shts.
| 5/11 Wednesday
||Comprehensive Final Exam on Wednesday 5/11, 9:15-11:15 am.
|* 4/5 (Tues) is Honor's Day|
Other Course PoliciesCOVID-19 Safety Plan. ONU updated the Safety Plan for 2021-2022 in January, 2022. The key point is that all students must be masked in class. Keep the nose covered, please. We are not requiring social distancing, but it is still a good idea to be spread out in our seating. Let me know if you have to quarantine or isolate so that I can help you keep up with the class. Attendance is important for doing well in this course. Absenteeism can directly lower your grade if you miss an in-class activity. Note that in-class activities cannot be "made up". I will record attendance on some days and factor that information into your "In-class" grade (see above). Let me know in advance (e-mail is good) if you have to miss on a test/deadline day for a valid reason (e.g., your team or musical group is on the road) and want to schedule a make-up. If you miss because of an emergency, let me know as soon as possible, and provide proof of the emergency. "Proof" can consist of a name and phone number of a parent or authority figure who knows your situation. Make up any missed quizzes or exams before I go over them during the next class.
|Disability services||Academic Honesty (Append. F, p. 97)||Title IX|
|Cool Astro Links||Pinkney's Homepage||The ONU Physics Homepage||Hyperphysics