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University Course Schedule
Astronomy 309 - Spring 2003
Popular Astronomy
Unique No. 45965 · TTH 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM · WEL 3.502


Karl Gebhardt
Office: RLM 16.210
Phone: (512) 471-1473


Amanda Bauer
Office: RLM 15.202A
Phone: (512) 471-8316


Shyam Kumar
Office: RLM 15.308

Course Web Site
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Course Objectives

Astronomy receives considerable attention from the media and the public in general. It allows us to ask fundamental questions about who we are, where we come from, and where we will end up as a world. This course will concentrate on the areas of Astronomy that are currently most covered by the media---planet detection and interpretation, supermassive black holes, gamma-ray bursters, dark matter in the Universe, and other significant developments that arise during the semester. We will cover each of these in depth, but will also concentrate on the reaction that the media has had on them. The media and public often have an uncanny ability to probe directly to the main reasons for why scientists study a particular problem. The student who completes this course will not only have a better scientific understanding of the current hot topics in Astronomy, but also understand how the media can actually drive science in general.


No textbook is required. Much of the relevant material will be articles that are available on the internet, so access to the internet is important. Lectures, along with many articles from the internet,will be provided online. I strongly recommend the book Cosmic Perspective by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit for additional material. I will add websites to the lists provided during the semester.

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7 January 2003
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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