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Astronomy 307 - Spring 2008
MWF 10:00-11:00 · RLM 15.316B · Unique No. 49470


Daniel Jaffe

Office: RLM 17.220
Phone: (512) 471-3425

Course Website



Athena Stacy

Syllabus for printing (pdf)

Course Contents
We will present an overview of the contents of the Universe, with a physical explanation of what is there. The emphasis will be on how astronomers study the Universe and explanations for what they find, rather than on descriptions. College-level physics and calculus are not required, but we will use high school math (some trigonometry) and science (Newton's laws).

"Astronomy Today", by Chaisson and McMillan, 6th Edition Note: this book is aimed at non-science majors, and so uses less math than we will use. Lectures will give more quantitative explanations. Notes will be available to members of the class.

Homework will be assigned each Friday, due at the beginning of class the next Friday (as noted). Late homework will receive 1/2 credit. You may get help on homework (or anything else) from the professor or TA during office hours or by appointment. You are welcome to work on homework with other students, but verbatim copies of homeworks will not be accepted.

There will be 6 half-period quizzes, one roughly every two weeks. Changes to the topics to be covered will be announced in class the week before each quiz.

Homework will count 1/4 of your grade, quizzes will count 1/3, participation (class and extras) 1/12, and the final exam 1/3. Your lowest homework and lowest quiz score will be dropped. Note: You will not be allowed to drop quizzes you have not taken or homework you have not handed in. We will not have one make-up quiz at the end of the semester. You will only be eligible to take this quiz if you have either (a) an officially excused absence under university policy (sanctioned event, religious holiday)and have complied with the notification rules or (b) notified us prior to a quiz of a significantly impairing illness or injury. Exceptions to (b) will only be granted to those who can demonstrate that they were comatose (not asleep) before and during the quiz in question. Although this is not a writing class, test answers will usually consist of short written explanations, and we will count off for confusing or ungrammatical answers.

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14 January 2008
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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