ACCEL INTRO ASTRONOMY 2: ASTR 1040, Section 010    (4 credit hours)    Spring 2018
Stars & Galaxies Tues Thur 11:00am-12:15pm in Duane G-130 + recitations

Lecturer: Prof. Juri TOOMRE (office: Duane G-328, in Lab Computational Dynamics (LCD), phone (303) 492-8730)
Office hours: Tues, Thur 1:00pm-2:00pm; or flexibly by appointment (phone or e-mail):
Teaching Assistant: Peri JOHNSON (office in Astronomy Help Room (AHR): Duane D-142)
Office hours: Tues/Wed 5:00pm-6:00pm; or by e-mail appointment:
Ryan HORTON (office in AHR: Duane D-142)
Office hours: Thur 2:00pm-4:00pm; or by e-mail appointment:
Course Description: The course is concerned primarily with astronomy beyond the solar system. We start by reviewing the properties of light and atoms, and discuss how telescopes and spacecraft are used to observe astronomical objects. We turn then to the Sun as a typical star, concentrating next on other stars and their evolution, how stars are initially formed out of the interstellar matter, and what happens to stars late in their lives (white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes). We will also study the vast grouping of stars into galaxies, the properties of spiral and elliptical galaxies, and exotic objects like quasars. Cosmology and the early universe will then be considered, concluding with exobiology (life elsewhere). Methods of scientific research in astronomy will be emphasized throughout the course. We will look at deep-sky objects through telescopes, and study the skies with planetarium projectors. Course includes a significant amount of quantitative analysis invoking math and physics. There are five weekly recitation sections taught in turn by Peri Johnson on Tues 3pm (Duane D-318), Wed at both 11am and Noon (Duane E-126); and by Ryan Horton on Wed at 1pm (D-318) and Wed at 2pm (E-126).
Prerequisites: ASTR 1030 and Calculus I (or equivalent).
Textbook & Notes: Cosmic Perspective, 8th ed, Bennett, Donahue, Schneider & Voit, 2017 (required). The course makes extensive use of additional web-based material, and of announcements, that are accessible from the course D2L site and the primary home page at Copies of lecture slides serving as notes will be web-posted after each lecture. Many assignments will use the extra resources provided by You must establish a personal login to that site using an authentication code supplied with your copy of the book; your login from ASTR 1030 this Fall 2017 should allow you access to this follow-on course. However, you must register with our class on that site, using the class ID of `ASTR1040TOOMRE2018A', since only then will your work on assignments there count for credit.
Clickers: Personal "i-clickers" (radio-frequency response devices) are required for you to be able register your answers to various questions and discussions posed in the lectures and recitations. Please register your i-clicker with the myCUinfo site, using the student tab, or via the course D2L site.
Course Timing:

The course briefly reviews Chapters 1-6, and then turns in detail to Chapters 14-23, and S2-S4 in Cosmic Perspective (8th ed), plus considerable additional material in lectures. The topics are grouped as:

  1 Perspective and Astronomy
Matter and Energy, Light/Atoms, Telescopes
Our Star the Sun

Chaps 1, 2, 3
Chaps 4, 5, 6
Chap 14

  2 Properties of Stars, H-R Diagram, Binaries
Lives of Stars (Birth, Main Seq, Red Giants)

Chap 15
Chap 16
Chap 17

  3 Relativity (Space/Time/Gravity), Degeneracy
White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, Black Holes
Our Milky Way Galaxy

Chaps S2, S3, S4
Chap 18
Chap 19

  4 Other Galaxies, Hubble Law
Galaxy Evolution, Quasars, Active Galaxies

Chap 20
Chap 21

  5 Dark Matter, Large-Scale Structure
Cosmology: Creation and Fate of Universe
Chap 22
Chap 23
Exams & Grading:

Your final grade will be based on three in-class mid-term exams counting 45% overall (50 minutes each, closed book and closed notes, plus reminder sheet), the homework problem sets to be turned in counting 20%, and the final exam (comprehensive in content) counting 25% (2.5 hours, closed book and closed notes). All exams and the final will be based on the required readings from Cosmic Perspective and on the content of the lectures. The clicker in-class responses and discussion contributions, plus observing reports, will count for 10%. Regular attendance at both lectures and recitations is essential and required. Collaborative group work is encouraged.

Exam Dates: (all in Duane G-130) Exam 1: Thur Feb 15; Exam 2: Thur Mar 15; Exam 3: Thur Apr 19; Final Exam (Comprehensive): Wed May 9, 4:30pm-7:00pm. Each in-class exam will consist of a mixture of multiple-choice, true-false, and essay and quantitative analysis questions. You are expected to take all three in-class exams; unexcused absences count as an `F'. Absences will be excused only for a very good reason (such as a verifiable illness or emergency), and only when confirmed in writing not later than one week after the absence. There will be no makeup exams!
Reviewing: Review problem sets will be handed out in class about one week before each in-class exam, to help organize your own thinking about the material within each grouping of topics. There will also be optional review sessions on Wed early evenings before each exam and before the final.
Grades: We shall grade all exams on a curve, with an average class grade of 2.7 to 2.8 (out of 4.0). All your grades can be reviewed on the course D2L site.

Observatory Nights:

Seven nights are scheduled throughout the semester at Sommers-Bausch observatory so that you can work on projects centered on deep-sky objects. Dates: 1: Thur Jan 25; 2: Thur Feb 8; 3: Wed Feb 21; 4: Tues Mar 6; 5: Mon Mar 12; 6: Wed Apr 4; 7: Tues Apr 24. We will use sign up sheets for each night.

Planetarium: The class meets in Fiske Planetarium Theater on several occasions, to be announced, instead of in Duane G-130. Go directly to Fiske on those days. Please do not arrive late, because that will interfere with other people's adaptation to the dark.
Accessibilty: Any student with Accessibility Requirements involving communication or exams should talk to the instructor early in semester to request and arrange suitable accommodations.

Version 16 Jan 2018