Introduction to Astronomy
- It was fun to teach this class, and I hope that first and foremost, it has broadened your horizons on astronomy: the quest for our origin and fate, and the pursuit of knowledge within the infinite richness of the Universe. Most of you have worked hard for this course and this is reflected in your grades: 46% of you have an A, and 24 % have a B. Well done and have a great holiday!
- We have posted on eGradebook the grades for all assignements, the final numerical score and the final letter grade. The column labelled "EC" (extra credit) on eGradebook shows "1" for those who got extra credit by getting certified to use the Painter Hall telescope, and "0" otherwise. We dropped the 2 worst quizzes and the worst homework and used the weights described in the intial grading policy . When assigning a letter grade, we gave a 1.5% grace buffer with respect to the initil grading policy Below are the resulting assignments for letter grades, and the percentage of the class with the corresponding grades.
83.50% to 100.0% = A (46% of the class)
73.50% to 83.49% = B (24% of the class)
58.50% to 73.49% = C (21% of the class)
43.50% to 58.49% = D ( 6% of the class)
0.00% to 43.49% = F ( 3% of the class)
- You can pick up your graded homework 6 and Exam 3 from Donghui on Tue Dec 20 and Wed Dec 21, from 2 to 3 pm in his office RLM 15.202A (located inside the Peridier Library). If you cannot make it at those times, have a friend pick these up for you.
- Important Links
Website for this class : http://www.as.utexas.edu/~sj/a301-fa05/
Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students regarding Astronomy Courses
Listng of Astronomy Courses for Fall 2005
Prof. Shardha Jogee
Tu+Th 5-6 pm or by appointment
Mon 6-7 pm or by appointment
Wed 4.30-5.30 or by appointment
- Course Description: Astronomy is the greatest adventure humankind has engaged in. It is a quest for our origin and fate, a pursuit of knowledge within the infinite richness of the Universe. In this course, we will learn about the constituents of the Universe, such as stars, galaxies, planets, dark matter, and the recently discovered dark energy. We will study the beautiful physical laws that govern their evolution and address questions on the origin and fate of our world. How did the universe begin in a Big Bang? Over the course of time, how did the cosmic fluid assemble into galaxies like our own, the Milky Way? How do stars, planets, life, galaxies and black holes form and evolve? What are current predictions for the future of our solar system, our Galaxy, and of the Universe as a whole? Can science solve the ultimate mystery of Nature?
Here is an example of a cool image from this course. This picture, called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), is the deepest visible-light image ever made of the Universe. It consists of a one million-second exposure taken by us (the HUDF team) on the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004. It reveal the very first galaxies forming in the Universe and engaging in violent interactions more than 13 billion years ago, shortly after the Big Bang.
This is a science class designed for non-science majors: no prior college-level science or math courses are needed, but we will use math at the level of high school algebra. Remember that astronomy is a scientific displine. Therefore, in all astronomy classes, including this one, you are expected to learn physical principles and scientific reasoning. See the "Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students regarding Astronomy Courses." The course will be primarily based on the lectures, where I will cover material not discussed in the textbook and use interactive fun learning aids (movies, animations, etc) to clarify new concepts. The course textbook ``The Cosmic Perspective'', 3rd edition, by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit, and online material will provide complementary reading. The course syllabus provides an approximate timeline of the topics in class, and a partial reading list.
- Course Pre-Requisites, Textbook, and Syllabus :
The final grade and grades for individual assignements will be posted online on eGradebook. The final grade will be divided between exams (45%), homework (35%), and in-class quiz/activities (20%), as outlined below.
- Course Grade:
1. Three in-class exams will make up 3x15% or 45% of your final grade. There will be no final comprehensive exam.
2. Your lowest homework score will be dropped, and the remaining scores will make up 35% of the final grade. Late homework will not be accepted for grading unless you have been granted an extension prior to the due date, and in such a case, only partial credit (50% or lower) will be received.
3. Your lowest in-class activity score will be dropped, and the remaining scores will make up 20% of the final grade. The in-class activity/quiz typically consists of multiple choice questions based on the last lecture or on an assigned reading. It may occasionally be an in-class discussion.
4. All the assignments are primarily based on the lectures. Therefore, if you want to do well in this course, I strongly recommend that you attend classes.
5. You can earn extra credit (EC) by getting certified to use the Painter Hall Telescope The EC can contribute up to 5% in one of your exams.
6. When converting your final numerical grades to letter grades, I will use the scheme below or one that is slightly more lenient.
Letter Grade Numerical Grade A 85% to 100% B 75% to 84% C 60% to 74% D 45% to 59% F 0% to 44%
7. You are encouraged to study with other students, but you must write up your own homework, exams, and quizzes. Cheating will be severely punished: if you copy someone's homework/quiz/exam or let someone copy yours, both of you will receive zero credit, and I will consider filing a report to the Dean of Students.
While UT is in session, the Astronomy Department hosts three weekly viewing nights for the UT community and the general public (bring your friends). There is a star party on the roof of Robert Lee Moore (RLM) Hall on Wednesdays and a public viewing in Painter Hall using the 9-inch refracting telescope on Fridays and Saturdays. Viewing times change throughout the year, so please check the viewing page or call 512-471-5007 for current times.
- Public Viewing Nights:
Under some circumstances, you may get extra credit by getting certified to use the Painter Hall 9-inch refracting telescope as follows. Carry out steps 1 to 4 on the certification site and once you pass the test, bring me a note from the observatory assistant stating clearly that you have passed the certification test to use and check out the Painter Hall 9-inch refracting telescope. Please note that you should do this as early as possible in the semester: if you wait till the last weeks and there are weather or technical problems that require dome closure, you will not qualify for this option.
- Extra Credit:
You will find below, mostly in pdf format, selected parts of the lecture, such as figures and plots. The main notes, explanations, movies, and demos will be covered only in class where in-class quiz/activities will count toward 20% of the final grade.
- Lecture 1: Course Overview (Th Sep 1/2005)
QuickTime demo to try : Zooming 26 orders of magnitude (swf) (Th Sep 1/2005)
- Lecture 2+3 (Tu Sep 6/2005 + Th Sep 8/2005)
- Homework 1 (Tu Sep 13)
- Lecture 4+5 (Tu Sep 13/2005 + Th Sep 15/2005)
- Lecture 6+7 (Tu Sep 20/2005 + Th Sep 22/2005)
- Lecture 8+9 (Tu Sep 27/2005 + Th Sep 29/2005)
- Homework 2 (Tu Sep 27)
- Lecture 12+13 (Tu Oct 11/2005 + Th Oct 18/2005) (Note Lecture 10 and 11 involved exam 1 and in-class reviews)
- Lecture 14+15 (Tu Oct 18/2005 + Th Oct 20/2005)
- Lecture 16 (Tu Oct 25/2005 )
- Homework 4 (Updated Tue Nov 1, 9 pm. The previous version had a typo on question 1a : the mass of the carbon nucleus should read 19.9162 x 10^-27 kg)
- Lecture 18+19 (Tu Nov 1/2005 + Th Nov 4/2005)
- Lecture 20 (Tu Nov 8/2005) (Note Lecture 21 = Exam 2)
- Lecture 22+23 (Tu Nov 15/2005 + Th Nov 17/2005)
- Lecture 24 (Tu Nov 22/2005)
- Homework 5 (Tu Nov 22) and its reading asignement "Sky and Telescope Article: Hubble's Really Big Picture"
- Lecture 25+26 (Tu Nov 29/2005 + Th Dec 1/2005)
- Lecture 27 (Tu Dec 6/2005)
- Homework 6 (Th Dec 1/2005)