Instructor's Notes

Complete Notes [pdf]

  1. Introductory Remarks & Positional Astronomy [pdf]
    1. The Celestial Sphere and the Horizon Coordinate System2
    2. The Equatorial Coordinate System4
    3. The Ecliptic System and Annual Motion of the Sun [pdf]7
    4. Coordinate Conversions11
    5. Precession, Aberration, and Refraction [pdf] - revised14
    6. Parallax and Stellar Distances [pdf]18
  2. Properties of Electromagnetic Radiation [pdf] - revised
    1. Light as Waves and as Photons21
    2. Blackbody Radiation24
    3. Basic Quantities of Radiation [pdf]28
  3. Photometry: Measuring Stellar Brightness [pdf]
    1. Luminosity, Distance, and Flux35
    2. The Magnitude Scale36
    3. Absolute Magnitude and Distance Modulus38
    4. Photometric Bands and Color Indices39
    5. Bolometric Corrections43
  4. Effects of the Earth's Atmosphere [pdf]
    1. Photometric Extinction Corrections45
    2. The Diffraction Limit and Atmospheric "Seeing" [pdf]49
    3. Atmospheric Absorption and Transmission52
    4. Atmospheric Skyglow and Emission [pdf]55
  5. Observational Tools and Techniques [pdf]
    1. Ingredients of an Astronomical Observation59
    2. Instruments and Techniques61
    3. Astronomical Detectors 64
  6. Spectroscopy and Stellar Spectra [pdf]
    1. Types of Spectra: Kirchhoff's Laws67
    2. Stellar Spectral Types69
    3. Atomic Energy Levels and the Formation of Spectral Lines [pdf]73
    4. The Bohr Atom75
  7. The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram [pdf]
    1. The Color-Magnitude Diagram77
    2. Main Sequence Stars and the Mass-Luminosity Relation79
    3. Luminosity Class, Surface Gravity, and Spectroscopic Parallax [pdf]82
    4. The Uses of Cluster HR Diagrams84
  8. Interpreting Stellar Spectra [pdf]
    1. Excitation Equilibrium: The Boltzmann Equation85
    2. Ionization Equilibrium: The Saha Equation [pdf]89
    3. The Uses of High-Resolution Spectroscopy92
    4. Absorption Line Profiles [pdf]95
    5. Equivalent Width and the Curve of Growth98
    6. Element Abundances - revised102
  9. The Interstellar Medium and Gaseous Nebulae [pdf]
    1. Properties and Types of Interstellar Matter105
    2. Physical Parameters of the ISM: Thermal Description107
    3. Emission Nebulae and their Spectra110
  10. Stellar Motions and Orbits [pdf]
    1. Proper Motion and Transverse Velocity113
    2. Moving Clusters, Solar Motion and Statistical Parallax114
    3. Kepler's Laws of Orbital Motion [pdf]117
    4. Stellar Masses from Orbits: Newton's Form of Kepler's Third Law118
    5. The Elements of Elliptical Orbits120
  11. Binary Stars [pdf]
    1. Visual (Astrometric) Binaries122
    2. Spectroscopic Binaries125
    3. Eclipsing Binaries [pdf]128
    4. Recap: Stellar Masses From Binaries130
  12. Stellar Evolution [pdf]
    1. Principles and Dichotomies132
    2. Pre-Main Sequence Evolution [pdf]135
    3. Brown Dwarfs: Substellar Objects [pdf]138
    4. Post-Main Sequence Evolution of Low-Mass Stars [pdf]142
    5. Post-Main Sequence Evolution of High-Mass Stars [pdf]147