Participation Credits

Most participation credit opportunities take place in class, by filling out and answering various questions on index cards. It is possible to supplement these or make up for missed in-class opportunities in the following ways, although the total number of participation credits for the semester is 10 points. (In other words, participation credits cannot replace credit for homeworks or quizzes, and no more than 10 points of participation will be counted, although you are welcome to continue these activities.)

Star Parties

star parties Attend one of the Astronomy Department-sponsored Star Parties, which occur on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings during the semester, weather permitting. The Wednesday night events are held on the roof of RLM Hall, while the Friday and Saturday ones use the telescope on the roof of Painter Hall. See details here. Important: In order to receive credit for this activity, you must request a signed slip from the person in charge, and turn it in to the T.A. within the next week. No more than two Star Parties can count for participation credit.

Public Lecture - April 11

nearby supermassive black hole A public lecture titled, "Black Holes-Tiny But Powerful," will be presented by Assistant Professor Jenny Greene at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum Monday, April 11, at 8 PM. Dr. Greene will talk about supermassive black holes, with masses of millions to billions of times that of our own Sun, that are found lurking at the centers of most nearby large galaxies. Our search for the smallest supermassive black holes has taught us what the very first black holes may have been like. The requirements for getting credit for this activity are the same as for the previous Public Lectures.

Black Holes-Tiny But Powerful

Public Lecture - March 24

supernova remnant A public lecture titled, "Exploding Stars!," will be presented by Tinsley Visiting Professor Dr. Lars Bildsten of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics & Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, March 24 at 7:00 PM in RLM 4.102. Prof. Bildsten will discuss the discovery of new modes of supernova explosions, among the most dramatic events in the Universe. The requirements for getting credit for this activity are the same as for the Jaffe Public Lecture.

Exploding Stars!

Special Lecture - February 12

giant magellan telescope A public lecture titled, "Exploring Newly Discovered Worlds with the Giant Magellan Telescope," will be presented by Prof. Dan Jaffe of the Department of Astronomy on Saturday, February 12 at 1:00 PM in the Avaya Auditorium, Room 2.302 on the ground floor of the ACES building, at the corner of 24th Street and Speedway. This is an opportunity to earn participation credit through an out of class activity. In order to receive credit, you will need to turn in a brief write-up summarizing what you heard and learned at the talk, no later than the start of class on Thursday, February 17. This must be turned in as hard copy (on paper), not emailed; I prefer it to be typed, since it must be legible. You can earn 1 credit for this assignment, depending on the quality of your effort, not on whether you understand everything you hear. You must personally attend the lecture in order to receive credit. I strongly advise you against copying someone else's notes and trying to turn that in. Not only does that constitute a violation of UT's Honor Code, but I have an uncanny ability to recognize attempts to cheat!

Exploring Newly Discovered Worlds with the Giant Magellan Telescope