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Astronomy 301 - Fall 2004
MWF 2:00 - 3:00 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 47780


John Scalo
Office: RLM 17.220
Phone: (512) 471-6446
(home) 478-2748


Course Website
Where all handouts can be downloaded and exam scores checked


Nairn Baliber
Office: RLM 16.308
Hours: T 1-3,
Th 3-5, or by appt
Phone: (512) 471-3453

Office hours M 4:30-5:30, W 4:30-6, or by appointment (my hours are very flexible). However I urge you to feel free to call me at my home or office, or to talk to me after class (outside the classroom, if necessary—I have free time after most of our classes except on Wednesdays); for short questions there is usually no need for you to walk all the way to my office, and I welcome phone calls at home.

Chaisson, E. and McMillan, S., Astronomy Today, 5th Edition. It is important that you purchase the 5th Edition (new). It is not essential that the book contains its cd-rom. The textbook is essential, but several Astronomy Department faculty members use this book, so it has resale value.

Course Web Page
The course website will contain the syllabus, an outline of most class lectures, and perhaps an outside reading assignment or two (you can read them online or print them); a way for you to easily check your exam scores; and a simple way for me to distribute handouts or make slight revisions to the reading assignments or subsections covered on exams. I urge you to check the website often.


100% of your grade will be based on 7 exams (about one every two weeks, starting with the 3rd Friday of the course, Sept.13), all of which will be weighted equally. All exams will be weighted equally except that your lowest exam score will only receive a weight of 1/2 compared to the others. So you have to take all the exams, but if you have an off day (or week, etc.) it won't hurt your final grade too much. The topics and dates of the exams (tentative—any changes will be announced heavily in class and at the class website) are listed below. There will be no required comprehensive final. The exams will consist entirely of multiple choice questions, depending on class size. I will try to prepare you for the nature of the exam questions by occasionally giving sample questions during lectures, by trying to point out the types of information that I expect you to understand or remember, and giving examples on review sheets. There is an excellent multiple choice interactive self-testing part of the text web site ( that I urge you to use, since the exam questions will be of that form, and some will be taken from this source. (Click on Astronomy Today 5/e, then Study Guide for each chapter.)

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17 August 2004
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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