Galaxies and the Universe
- Exam 1 is on March 8 and will cover all the material covered to date. Calculators are allowed. Notes and books are not.
- Check out the Astronomy Picture of the Day!
- Class and Office Hours: This class, Astro 358, meets Tuesday and Thursdays from 12.30 to 2.00 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
Wed 11 to 12 or by appointment
Mon 2-3 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. I will also discuss some of the current/upcoming exciting science from observations conducted or planned with current/next-generation telecopes. We will explore the evolution of galaxies over a wide range of epochs, from the present-day out to epochs when the Universe was a mere few percent 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). Several desk copies are in the Peridier Library (RLM 15.202) and in the PMA library (RLM, 4th floor). If the University Co-op fails to secure this book in a timely way, you can consider the online purchase options below:
- Textbook and Reading
Powell's Books (eBooks)
For additional reading, I have put the following additional 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),
- "Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction", by Sparke& Gallagher (Publisher: Cambridge University Press, copyright 2000)
I will cover extra material not present in the textbook and additional material will be posted in the section "Selected Material from Lectures & Assignments " as the class proceeds.
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, present colloquia, and attend scientific meetings. In such cases, there may be a schedule change and an appropriate replacement lecture or other assignment will be scheduled.
- Course Calendar
Your grades will be posted online on Blackboard 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 scores 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 attendace, participation and activities (e.g., quizzes)
91% to 100%
86% to 90%
81% to 85%
76% to 80%
71% to 75%
66% to 70%
61% to 65%
56% to 60%
51% to 55%
46% to 50%
41% to 45%
0% to 40%
(1) Late homeworks will be accepted for partial credit only if you have been granted an extension prior to the due date.
- Class Policies
(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.
(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.
(6) Plagiarism: Scholastic dishonesty, in particular any plagiarism, will be prosecuted in accordance with the university guidelines. In simplest terms, plagiarism occurs if you represent as your own work any material that was obtained from another source, regardless how or where you acquired it. Please read the description from the Dean of Students office on what constitutes plagiarism in its various forms. In particular, have a careful look at "paraphrasing".
(7) Disabilities: Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (phone = 512-471-6259).
It is important that you attend lectures as the main notes, explanations, and demos will be covered only in class where in-class activities will count toward the final grade. The material below only includes a small fraction of the lectures, such as figures and plots.
- 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]
- Due the delays by the UT co-op and Springer publishing in getting the primary course textbook "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology" (EAC) by Peter Schneider (Publisher: Spinger, copyright 2006) on time, we are providing the scanned versions of the appendix and first few chapters only.
- Figs/Tables for lecture 9-14 (Dark Matter, Gravitational Lensing) (last update= Mar 6/2012)
- Figs/Tables for lecture 15-17 (Star Formation) (last update= Mar 27/2012)
- Assignment 4 (Student Talks and Schedule of Talks)
- Booklet summarizing the recommendations (science programs and new space- and ground-based facilities) of the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 decadal survey, "New Worlds, New Horizons" Some of this information will be useful for your assignment 4.
- Figures/Table for lectures 18-20 (Updated Apr 16/2012; Galaxy Surveys and Concepts relevant for Assignment 4)
- There will be no formal lecture in class on Thursday Apr 5, 2012. Please use this time to meet as teams in the classroom to discuss and plan your assignment 4. I also strongly recommend that you attend the Public Lecture "A Journey of Discovery: Our Expanding Universe" on Wed April 4, 2012, at 4:30 pm, in ETC 2.136 by the 2012 Antoinette de Vaucouleurs Memorial Lecturer, Dr. Wendy Freedman, Director, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science. This will be quite relevant for some of the topics in your assignment 4.
- Team Report for Assignment 4 This is due by Monday Apr 23, 10 am, along with your presentation in pdf or powerpoint format.
- Figures/Table for lectures 21-23 (Black Holes in Galaxies)
- Figures/Table for lectures 24 (Galaxy Mergers and Their Impact on Galaxy Evolution)
- 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).