Galaxies and the Universe
- Class and Office Hours: This class, Astro 358 (Unique 48540), meets Tuesday and Thursdays from 11.00 to 12.30 am in RLM 15.216B. The instructor is Professor Shardha Jogee and the teaching assistant (TA) is John Jardel. Please consult us during the office hours listed below if you have any questions and we will be glad to help.
Prof. Shardha Jogee
Fri 11 to noon or by appointment
Mon 5-6 pm or by appointment
- Course Description: Astronomy 358, "Galaxies and the Universe," is an upper division course designed for majors in the physical sciences. It addresses the properties, contents, origin, and evolution of galaxies; their interaction and mass assembly history; the properties of their central black holes and starbursts; and the characteristics of the early Universe. The emphasis will be on using the laws of physics to interpret observations and understand how galaxies form and evolve. This field is fast-moving and I will discuss some of the latest cutting-edge galaxy surveys conducted with NASA's Great Observatories (Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Infrared Satellite, Chandra X-ray Observatory), such as the GEMS (Galaxy Evolution from Morphology and SEDs) survey, the GOODS (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey) survey, the HUDF (Hubble Ultra Deep Field), and the STAGES (Space Telescope A901/902 Galaxy Evolution Survey) survey of the Abell 901/902 supercluster. These surveys allow us to probe the evolution of galaxies over a wide range of cosmic lookback times, from the present-day out to epochs when the Universe was less than 5% of its present age.
The class pre-requisites are two semesters of college physics (Phy 301 and 316, or equivalent). A previous astronomy course, such as AST 307 or AST 352K is strongly recommended: if have not taken these courses, it is your responsibiity to contact the professor or TA during the first week AND to make sure that you develop the required background knowledge by covering the background pre-requisite reading before the second week of class.
The primary course textbook is "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology" (EAC) by Peter Schneider (Publisher: Spinger, copyright 2006). For additional reading, I have put the following books on reserve in the PMA library (RLM, 4th floor) and in the Peridier Library (RLM 15.202): "Galactic Astronomy" (GA) by Binney and Merrifield (Publisher: Princeton University Press, copyright 1998), and "The Physics of Stars", by A. C. Phillips, 2nd Edition (Publisher: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd). However, note that the course will be heavily based on the lectures where I will cover extra material not present in the textbook. Some of the additional material will be posted in the section "Selected Material from Lectures & Assignments " as the class proceeds.
- Textbook and Reading
The course calendar provides an approximate sequencing of topics to be covered in class. The online calendar will be regularly updated, as needed. Note that as outlined in the Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students regarding Astronomy Courses , the professor is a professional astronomer who has research responsibilities and may be occasionally on travel in order to conduct research, preseent colloquia, and attend scientific meetings.
- Course Calendar
Your grades will be posted online on eGradebook. I strongly recommend that you attend classes as assignments are primarily based on the lectures and your in-class participation count directly toward your final grade. The final grade will consist of
- Course Grade
40% HomeworksWhen converting your final numerical grades to letter grades, I will use the scheme below or one that is slightly more lenient:
20% Midterm exam
20% End-of-term exam
20% In-class activities (e.g., quiz) and class participation
A= 85% to 100%
B= 75% to 84%
C= 60% to 74%
D= 50% to 59%
F= 0% to 49%
(1) There will be about 4 homeworks. Late homeworks will be accepted only if you have been granted an extension prior to the due date and will receive only partial credit; (2) There will be no final comprehensive exam; (3) There will be makeup exams only for students having a valid excuse and an official note from UT for the specific date and time of the missed exam. Makeup exams may be based on any part of the course; (4) We will accept requests for correction or re-grade of an assignment (homework, exam or quiz), at latest two weeks after it is handed back to you or posted on eGradebook; (5) 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.
- Class Policies
- The second exam will be in class on Thursday May 07/2009. It will be based primarily on the material covered in the second half of the semester (i.e., after Spring break) : see the course calendar for details. There will be one general question based on the student talks on next generation instruments (EVLA, ALMA, JWST, and GMT). The exam's format will be similar to that of exam 1: there will be a mix of quantitative and qualitative conceptual questions. Formulae will NOT be provided to you and I expect you to know the following formulae . You can use a calculator. We will provide paper.
You will find below, mostly in pdf format, selected parts of the lecture, such as figures and plots. The main notes, explanations, and demos will be covered only in class where in-class quiz/activities will count toward the final grade.
- Prequisite material that you need to know
- Ch 3.2, AIMSA (Flux, Luminosity, and the Magnitude Scale)
- Ch 3.4, AIMSA (Blackbody Radiation, Wien's Law, Stefan-Boltzmann Equation).
- Ch 1.1.1 to 1.1.3, GIU (Stars: Properties, Spectra Classification, The Lives of Stars)
- Ch 17.5, UNI (Nature and Spectral Classification of Stars).
- Ch 20, UNI (Evolution and Death of High and Low Mass Stars)
[Book references: GIU = "Galaxies in the Universe", Sparke & Gallagher, Cambridge University Press, 2000; AIMSA = "An Introduction to Modern Stellar Astrophysics", Ostlie, D. A., Addison-Wesley, 1996; UNI = "Universe", 8th edition, Freedman & Kaufmann]
- Figures from Lec 1 (course overview) (Tu Jan 20)
- Figures from Lec 3+4 (Th Jan 29 + Tu Feb 3)
- Figures from Lec 5+6 (Tu Feb 10 + Th Feb 12)
- Figures from Lec 7 to 11 (Feb 24, 26 + Mar 03, 05, 10)
- Figures from Lec 12 to 13 (Mar 24, 26, 31)
- Movie of a major merger (gas= blue, stars=yellow) [Courtesy: Mihos and Hernquist]
- Visualisation of phases of a major merger overlaid on real galaxy snapshots [Courtesy: NASA, ESA, STScI, Frank Summers]
- Movie of a major merger (4 panels, showing gas and stars in 2 projections). Includes black hole accretion and feedback, and diffuse intergalactic medium. [Courtesy: T. J Cox]
- Movie of a major merger of 2 galaxies hosting black holes (4 panels, showing gas and stars in 2 projections) [Courtesy: Volker Springel]
- Movie of a prograde minor merger (4 panels, showing gas and stars in 2 projections) [Courtesy: T. J Cox]
- Movie of a retrograde minor merger (4 panels, showing gas and stars in 2 projections) [Courtesy: T. J Cox]
- Movie of merger of Milky Way with M31 [Courtesy: AIP, M. Steinmetz]
- Movie showing hierarchical buildup of a galaxy similar to the Milky Way [Courtesy: Steinmetz & Navarro]
- Figures from Lec 14 to 16 (Apr 2, 7, 9)
- Movie of a molecular cloud undergoing gravitational collapse [Courtesy: M. Bates]
- Figures from Lec 17 to 19 (Apr 14, 21, 23)
- Figures from Lec 21 (Tu May 05)
- NED (NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database) (with links to images and catalogs, such as RC3, ESO, UGC)
- Notes on how to convert coded revised Hubble types in RC3
- Orignal table from RC2 on how to convert coded revised Hubble types in RC3
- Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies (Halton Arp, 1966; Images and data on 338 peculiar galaxies).