
Announcements Archive
12/7

:

The semester total scores are now available on eGradebook. The grading curve is as follows: Your
semester grade is an A for a Semester Total of 82.00 or above, B for totals of
72.0081.99, C for 65.0071.99, D for 55.0064.99, and F below 55.
If you have questions about your status, please check the Individual Feedback link at the far right
on your eGradebook page; I have attempted to include appropriate advice for all students who might be able
to improve their course grade by taking the final exam. Also, explanations of how each "total" was calculated
are posted at the Assignment Comments links. Please check these before sending email asking me
detailed questions about how the grades were computed!


11/27

:

Student oral presentations start on Thurs., Nov. 29 and continue through Thurs., Dec. 6. Speakers
are urged to come early and test the audiovisual equipment. You will not be able to access your talk remotely due to firewalls,
so bring it on a jump drive, CD, or laptop. Thursday speakers must deliver a hard copy of the presentation to the instructor, as
well as emailing the Power Point file, by 2:00 PM Friday (the next day). Tuesday speakers must deliver these items
before Thursday's class.
Students who are not presenting on a given day are nevertheless expected to attend and be an involved audience for their
classmates. Failure to attend will have a negative effect your participation grade.


11/15

:

Upcoming Events: Exam 3 will be on Tues., Nov. 20, and will cover through this Tuesday's class.
The format will be the same as for previous hour exams. I will try to get the Equations page posted by Mon., Nov. 19.
One additional homework will be assigned. It is optional, and will be due on Tues., Nov. 27, the first class meeting after
Thanksgiving break. That class will be the last lecture given by the instructor. The next three classes will be devoted to student oral
presentations. See the Oral Presentations link for the updated schedule of talks. Note that you must give your talk at the
assigned time. There will not be any "makeup" opportunities for missed talks.


11/11

:

There is a typographic error in Problem 3, HW 5, which is due at the beginning of class Tues., Nov. 13.
Where it says "epsilon(Fe) = 3.09," it should read "[Fe/H] = 3.09." This makes a big difference in your answers!
An detailed outline of your oral presentation including a complete reference list  in proper format!  is
due on Thurs., Nov. 15. Exam 3 will be given in class on Tues., Nov. 20.


11/8

:

Homework 5 is due at the beginning of class on Tues., Nov. 13, and an expanded outline
your oral presentation, plus a complete list of references used  in proper citation format!  is due on
Thurs., Nov. 15. Exam 3 will be given in class on Tues., Nov. 20.


10/26

:

Exam 2 will be given on Tues., Oct. 30. It will cover through Section VII. A. (page 73) in the
Instructor's Notes. A sample of the Equations Sheet for Exam 2 is posted on these pages.
Prof. Dinerstein will not be available during her usual 1  2 p.m. office hours on Mon., Oct. 29,
but will be in her office from 3  4 p.m. after the departmental Halloween party (held in the classroom),
although you may have to wait in line with the Ast 307 students, who also will have an exam the next day.


10/18

:

We have now covered through Section VII. A. in the Notes. HW 4 is due Tues., Oct. 23,
but if you do not feel prepared to do Problem 3 without our having covered the Saha Equation in class, you may omit
that problem.
On Thurs., Oct. 25 you are expected to turn in a brief outline of your oral presentation, along with a list of
references you have found so far. I will return these, with feedback. There may be another intermediate draft of the
oral presentation outline and content due before Thanksgiving break.
Exam 2 is now scheduled for Tues., Oct. 30 (instead of the original date of Oct. 25), because of
our missing one class during the Bash Symposium. The format will be similar to that of Exam 1, including
a new, expanded Equations Sheet. Details of what material will be covered will be announced later.


10/12

:

Reminder: Class will not meet on Tuesday, Oct. 16, due to the Bash Symposium. Those of you who signed up
on Thursday are welcome to attend part or all of that conference (in the ACES building). The people behind the desk should
have your name, and may give you a name tag, but you don't get a free lunch unless you are a registered participant (sorry).
Ast 325K will meet as usual on Thursday, Oct. 18.
HW 4 was given out on Thursday, but is not due until Tues., Oct. 23, since we have not yet covered the
material needed to do problems 2 and 3. If you feel ambitious, however, you can always read ahead in the Instructor's
Notes, and give those problems a try.
A preliminary list of Oral Presentation Topics was also distributed on Thursday. The brief outline and partial reference
list for your presentation will be now due on Thurs., Oct. 25, and Exam 2 will be on Tues., Oct. 30
(instead of Oct. 25), because of our cancelling class during the Bash Symposium.


10/8

:

There's some catching up to do, since this announcements page has not been updated for a long time! We have now
covered through Section IV. C. of the Instructor's Notes. We should finish Section V, and possibly start Section
VI, on Tuesday, Oct. 9. (Most of this material is not covered in Ostlie & Carroll.)
Exam 1 was graded and returned; HW 3 is due in class on Thurs., Oct. 11. All students should
have turned in several possible choices for oral presentation topics; I am working on trying to fit them together, since several
topics were requested by several different people.
This week is an exciting one in the Astronomy Department, with our latest Antoinette de Vaucouleurs Lecturer, Dr.
John Mather of NASA, receiving his award on Wednesday at 3:30 PM, and giving a lecture on the future
James Webb Space Telescope (the Hubble of the next decade). He will also give a Public Lecture on
Thursday at 4:00 PM in the Avaya Auditorium, ACES building, on the Big Bang. The public lecture is intended
for general audiences, so you can recommend this to your nonscience major friends as well.


9/22

:

Exam 1 will be given in class on Thursday, Sep. 27. It will cover through Section IIC of the
Instructor's Notes, on blackbody radiation. As discussed in the class, the format will be "closed notes,
open equations." This means that you will be given a copy of the (same) equations page that was distributed last
Thursday to use during the exam. Bring a calculator. You will also have a choice of 4 out of 6 questions on the
exam.
Prof. Dinerstein will be out of town all week, attending a scientific conference. If you have questions about the
material, please see the T.A. during her posted office hours (or contact her in advance to make an appointment).
Tuesday, Sep. 25 will also be an important class meeting. Homework 2 has been graded and will be
returned. In addition, there will be a special presentation about how to research topics in the astronomical literature,
given by head PMA librarian, Molly White. This is information that you will be able to use very soon, in choosing and
researching the topics for your oral presentations.


9/13

:

Homework 2 was handed out in class on Thursday and is due at the beginning of class
Thursday, Sep. 20. It is also posted on this website, if you missed class and need a copy.
The Instructor's Notes have been posted for the first two units, Section I: Positional Astronomy,
and Section II: Properties of Radiation. The first inclass exam will be given on Thursday, Sep. 27.
More details about what it will cover, and a sample equations page, will be provided next week.


9/7

:

Homework 1 was handed out on Sep. 6 and is due before class on Thursday, Sep. 13. See the
Syllabus for our policy on late homeworks.
The first three packets of Instructor's Notes are now posted. We have covered Sections I. A  D
so far, and will talk about Sections E and F on Tuesday. That will finish our unit on Positional Astronomy,
and then we will move on to a more (astro)physical topic, properties of radiation fields and blackbody
radiation.


9/5

:

The first two sections of the Instructor's Notes are now posted. We have covered the first of these,
Sections I. A & B (pp. 1  6) as of Tuesday, Sep. 4. Lecture Summaries for the first two class meetings
are also posted, to provide examples for students who will have to prepare upcoming class summaries.
HW 1 will be handed out on Thursday, Sep. 6 and due the following Thursday before class.

