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Astronomy 309L - Fall 2003
Unique No. 46585 · MWF 2:00 - 3:00 · WEL 3.502


John Scalo
Office: RLM 17.220
Phone: (512) 471-6446

Course Website


Nairn Baliber
Office: RLM 16.308
Hours: T 1-3, Th 3-5
Phone: (512) 471-3453

Office hours: (Tentative) M4-5, W4:30-6, F3-5. Meetings at other times can be easily arranged. However I urge you to feel free to call me at my home or office, or to talk to me after class (outside the classroom, if necessary—I have some time after most of our classes); for short questions there is usually no need for you to walk all the way to my office, and I welcome phone calls.

Class Website

The course website will contain the syllabus, an outline of most class notes, and illustrations you can download; extra reading in the form of articles that will be assigned (you can read them online or print them); a way for you to easily check your exam scores; and a simple way for me to distribute handouts or make slight revisions to the reading assignments. I will explain downloading of articles to you in class. I urge you to check the website often.


Required book:  Bennett, Shostak, & Jakosky (BSJ), Life in the Universe (1st ed., 2003) (This book is expensive, but will be used again in the Spring, so you can get "rebate" then.)

Additional articles will be assigned and made available through the class website or on reserve at one or more of the UT libraries. A detailed list of the reading assignments for each topic covered in the course (see list below) will be handed out separately.


Exams: 95% of your grade will be based on five exams. All exams will be weighted equally except that your lowest exam score will only receive a weight of 1/2 compared to the others. So you have to take all the exams, but if you have an off day (or week, etc.) it won't hurt your final grade too much. The topics and dates of the exams (tentative—any changes will be announced heavily in class and at the class website) are listed below. There will be no required comprehensive final.

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28 August 2003
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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