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AST 309 · The Solar System    1   2  

Half of your grade will be determined from your exam scores and half from homeworks (including the weekly reading assignment). Your lowest exam and homework scores (one of each) will be dropped.

You are encouraged to study and work on homework assignments with other students, and you are encouraged to get help from the professor and TAs, but you must write out your own answers and make the assigned observations yourself. If you copy another homework or let someone copy yours, both of you will receive zero credit.


Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 6
Ch 7+8
Ch 9
Ch 10
Ch 11
Ch 12
Ch 13
Ch 14
Ch 15
Ch 16
Ch 17+20
Ch 21+24
Ch 28
Week of:
Friday Exams:
Jan 15:
Exploring the Solar System
Jan 22:
Origin of the Solar System
Jan 29:
Role of Collisions
Feb 2
Feb 5:
Mercury + Venus
Feb 12:
Feb 19:
Feb 23
Feb 26:
Mar 5:
Surfaces and Interiors
Mar 19:
Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets
Mar 23
Mar 26:
Interiors of the Giant Planets
Apr 2:
Atmospheres of the Giant Planets
Apr 9:
Planetary Rings
Apr 13
Apr 16:
Io + Titan
Apr 23:
Pluto + Comets
Apr 30:
Extrasolar Planets
May 4

Positions of Planets
  • Mercury is visible the first half of February about 45 minutes after sunset in the west just above where the Sun set. Venus is just above it and is brighter.
  • Venus is up in the evening all semester. It is moving away from the Sun in the sky, so setting later, later in the semester.
  • Mars is up in the southeast before sunrise all semester.
  • Jupiter at first rises late in the evening, but rises earlier later in the semester. It is bright, but rather far south in the sky.
  • Saturn is high in the sky around midnight early in the semester. It is up earlier later in the semester. The star following it across the sky is Regulus in the constellation Leo.

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22 January 2007
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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