AST 352K provides an overview of stellar astronomy at the advanced undergraduate level. Our
understanding of the physics of stars is a triumph of collaboration between observational and
theoretical astronomers. The course will present many aspects of this collaboration. We will
discuss both the experimental techniques and observational properties of stars. We will use our
knowledge of physics to learn to interpret the observations to derive fundamental physical
characteristics. We will also learn about the modeling of stellar atmospheres and interiors, emphasizing
how these models can be tested by observations.
AST 352K is a technical course and we will assume that students have mastered the material in
the prerequisite courses (see below). Homework and exam problems will make use of calculus.
When important physical principles are used, we will review or introduce them for you.
AST152M is the (optional) 1-hour lab course that accompanies AST352K. In Stellar Astronomy, we
will discuss observational techniques extensively. If you want to get hands-on experience observing
with a telescope and a high quality CCD camera and doing quantitative astronomy with the results,
you should enroll in the lab course.
As listed in the course catalog, the prerequisites for this course are Physics 301 (Mechanics) and Physics
316 (E & M), as well as the math courses required by these physics courses. Please see me right away
if you have not met these prerequisites. AST 307 is not a prerequisite. If you have not taken 307 and
encounter unfamiliar material, please let me know and we will go over it.