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AST 309R · Galaxies, Quasars, and Universe    1   2   3  


To take Astronomy 309R, you should have taken a descriptive introduction to astronomy, such as Astronomy 301, 302, or 303, or have obtained consent of the instructor.


Title: Cosmology, The Science of the Universe, 2nd Edition
Author: Edward Harrison
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Other Potentially Helpful Reading

  • The Infinite Cosmos: Questions from the Frontiers of Cosmology, by Joseph Silk (Oxford University Press)
  • In Search of Dark Matter, by Ken Freeman and Geoff McNamara (Springer Praxis Books)
  • Space-Time, Relativity, and Cosmology, by Jose Wudka (Cambridge University Press)
  • The State of the Universe: A Primer in Modern Cosmology, by Pedro Ferreira (Cassell)
  • The Edge of Infinity: Supermassive Black Holes in the Universe, by Fulvio Melia (Cambridge University Press)
  • Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy, by Dan Hooper (Collins)
  • The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos, by Robert P. Kirshner (Princeton University Press)
  • Dark Side of the Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Cosmos, by Iain Nicolson (Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • Calibrating the Cosmos: How Cosmology Explains Our Big Bang Universe, by Frank Levin (Springer)



There will be 5 multiple-choice 40-minute in-class exams, and no final exam. Please see the course schedule at the end of the syllabus for the dates of exams. The lowest exam score will be dropped, and the remaining 4 scores will be counted toward the grade. Each exam contributes 15 points toward the final grade.

There will be oral make-up exams for students with valid excuses. The reasons for absence must be presented and acknowledged in advance of examination. No make-up exams will be arranged for those who did not notify the instructor about their absence in advance.


There will be about 3 homework assignments, each counting 10 points toward the grade. Each assignment will be a set of simple essay questions, based on the material covered in class and/or available in resources that will be specified in the assignment. Yours answers of the essay questions should be submitted in typewritten form, about two to three pages in length (to be specified in the assignment), double-spaced, in 12-point font.

In answering the homework essay questions, you can paraphrase but not cite or copy material from any source. Distinction between paraphrasing and citing or copying is clearly explained in:

You are encouraged to discuss and work on the homework assignments in groups, but you must write the final answers on your own. Essays containing identical or nearly identical text fragments will be returned ungraded, and will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for adjudication.

Please number and staple together all pages of your assignment.

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4 September 2007
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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