MWF 11-12 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 47645

sagittarius a*

Sagittarius A* (NASA/ESA/JPL)


John Lacy

RLM 15.310C · TBA · (512) 471-1469 · email

Courses - Fall '10  |  Course Website

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AST 301
Introduction to Astronomy
Fall 2010   MWF 11:00-12:00

Printable syllabus - pdf

Professor: John Lacy

TAs: Myoungwon Jeon

Bohua Li

Office: RLM 16.332

Office: RLM 16.216

RLM 16.212

Phone: 471-1469

Phone: 471-0445




T,Th 11-12 & after class

Hours: T,Th 3-4

Th 2-3

Review session: RLM 15.216B Wed 5-6
web: -- courses -- AST 301 (Lacy)

Text: “The Cosmic Perspective” by Bennett et al., 5th or 6th ed. (earlier editions probably OK, too)

Prerequisites: No prior college science or math courses are required. We will use high-school algebra in class and on homework.

Contents: The emphasis in this course will be on explanations for the phenomena and objects that occur in the Universe and how astronomers learn about them. This is a course for non-science majors, and no knowledge of physics is assumed, but we will discuss physical laws and how astronomers use them to explain their observations.

In-class interactive learning activities will be an important part of this course. Consequently, attendance and participation is required. You are also required to finish each week's reading assignment before class on Monday, so that you are prepared to participate in discussions. A weekly reading quiz and credit for assignments done during class will help encourage you to do the reading and participate in class.

Homework: A homework assignment will be handed out most Fridays, due the next Friday at the beginning of class. Some assignments will involve observations of the sky. You are encouraged to work together on homework, but you must write out your own answers and describe your own observations, in your own words. Duplicate homeworks will not receive credit. Late homeworks will be accepted for half credit until homeworks are returned.

Tests: There will be a quiz each Monday on the reading for that week and the topics covered the previous week. There will be four in-class exams and a final exam. Late exams will not be given (but see policy on dropped exams below). Exams will emphasize material discussed in class, but may include topics covered only in the text. All quizzes and exams will be closed-book and closed-notes, and calculators will not be allowed (or needed).

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