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ASTR 1050: Survey of Astronomy, Spring 2018

Lecture Schedule

The format of this schedule has been tested in Safari and Firefox. It may be updated. Any updates will be announced in class.



There is a tentative lecture schedule below. In case you choose to buy a textbook (although, I stress, that this is probably not necessary), then the readings correspond roughly to the intended chapter number in Comins & Kaufmann; Discovering the Universe (see the syllabus for full details). Although exam material may be drawn from homeworks, lectures and labs I will attempt to only test material that is covered in some form in lectures (and that is noted in the "Learning Objectives" for each lecture).

Time and again people get caught by the difficulty of the material from the first seven lectures, which is very much concept-based rather than fact-based. Each of these lectures has an [xtra] link. Clicking on this link will lead to a page of questions to help with key concepts. Hopefully, these [xtra] links also help students who add the course late.

The [pdf] next to each lecture name (after the first lecture) links to the lecture notes in PDF format. The lecture notes for a given week will be posted no later than the Saturday morning before each week of lectures. In general, these notes do not address all of the material I will cover in each lecture, but they're a good start (i.e. you will have to show up to lectures and make some notes to perform well on the exams).

Homework issue dates and due dates are noted in the "Homeworks" column. Homeworks should be completed on UW's WyoCourses site. Note that WyoCourses seems to work well in Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers, but not so well in Google Chrome or Safari. Homework answers will also be posted on WyoCourses. Homeworks are due at 9AM on Monday morning. Homework answers will become available on Monday afternoons at 1PM. The next week's homework will become available on Monday mornings at 10AM. Each homework will usually review material covered in approximately the previous week of lectures. The first few homeworks, however, may have to cover material from the same week the homework is issued, as we won't cover much in Week 1. An example homework is available for the first week of lectures (with dummy questions) so that you can practice using WyoCourses.

Links to the labs are posted in the "Topic and Weekly Labs" column. The labs should all already be available at the links, but corrections might occur up to 3 days before the week of each lab. You will need to print out the PDFs and bring them to lab with you. Lab 1 "Quantitative Techniques" is quite long but it contains essential techniques to understand the lecture material. If you like, try some of the questions in advance. Note, though, that the printout you take to labs must not be filled out in advance. Of course, this doesn't stop you knowing a lab sufficiently well that you can complete it very quickly during your lab session. Note that names and dates in the titles of the lab PDFs may not necessarily correspond exactly to those on this schedule.



Date Topic and Weekly LabsReadingHomeworks
January
WEEK 1 NO LAB
M 22 [xtra] The Illimitable Ocean [links] No HW, try WyoCourses example
M 24 [xtra] The Scientific Method, or How Big is the Sun? [pdf] Poll Everywhere trial run
F 26 [xtra] A Sky Full of Stars - I. [pdf] 1.1-1.4 Poll Everywhere assessment begins
WEEK 2 LAB 1 - Quantitative Techniques
M 29 [xtra] A Sky Full of Stars - II. [pdf] 1.1-1.4 Homework 1 (HW1) available
W 31 [xtra] The Reason for the Seasons [pdf] 1.5-1.8
February
F 2 [xtra] Eclipses and the Lunar Cycle [pdf] 1.9-1.13
WEEK 3 LAB 2 - Our Moon
M 5 NO LECTURE - Try [xtra] questions for The Night Sky and Seasons HW1 due, HW2 available
W 7 NO LECTURE - Try [xtra] questions for Eclipses
F 9 [xtra] Kepler's Laws, or Ne frustra vixisse videar [pdf] 2.1-2.5
WEEK 4 LAB 3 - Planetary Orbits and Kepler's Laws
M 12 Our Home: The Earth [pdf] [links] 6.1-6.4 HW2 due, HW3 available
W 14 Our Companion: The Moon [pdf] 6.5-6.10
F 16 Mercury and Venus [pdf] 7.1-7.7
WEEK 5 LAB 4 - Planetary Geology
M 19 The Red Planet [pdf] 7.8-7.16 HW3 due, HW4 available
W 21 The Fathers of The Gods [pdf] 8.1-8.13
F 23 The Edge of Town [pdf] 9.1-9.9
WEEK 6 LAB 5 - Planetarium
M 26 REVIEW LECTURE TESTS WEEKS 1, 2, 3, 4, AND THE HW4 due, HW5 available
W 28 EXAM 1 FIRST TWO LECTURES OF WEEK 5
March
F 2 Death from the Skies [pdf] [links] 9.10-9.14
WEEK 7 NO LAB
M 5 Making a Solar System [pdf] 5.1-5.5 HW5 due, HW6 available
W 7 Our Beacon: The Sun [pdf] 10.1-10.6
F 9 NO LECTURE
SPRING BREAK NO LAB
M 12 NO LECTURE - SPRING BREAK HW7 available
W 14 NO LECTURE - SPRING BREAK
F 16 NO LECTURE - SPRING BREAK
WEEK 8 LAB 6 - The Electromagnetic Spectrum
M 19 Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun [pdf] 10.7-10.10 HW6 due
W 21 The Electromagnetic Spectrum [pdf] 3.1-3.4
F 23 How Hot is a Star? [pdf] 4.1-4.8
WEEK 9 LAB 7 - HR Diagram
M 26 Leaving Home [pdf] 11 HW7 due, HW8 available
W 28 Life on the Main Sequence [pdf] 12.6-12.16
F 30 The Stuff Between the Stars [pdf] 12.1-12.5
April
WEEK 10 LAB 8 - Observing or if it's cloudy Remote Observing (MWR, 8PM, roof of Physics Building)
M 2 REVIEW LECTURE TESTS 3RD LECTURE OF WEEK 5, HW8 due, HW9 available
W 4 EXAM 2 AND WEEKS 6, 7, 8, 9
F 6 The Death of Stars - I. [pdf] 13.1-13.4
WEEK 11 LAB 9 - Structure of the Milky Way Galaxy
M 9 The Death of Stars - II. [pdf] 13.5-13.18 HW9 due, HW10 available
W 11 Black Holes, or The Monster at the Center of the Galaxy [pdf] 14
F 13 Our Milky Way [pdf] 15
WEEK 12 LAB 10 - Parallax
M 16 The Great Debate [pdf] 16.1-16.6 HW10 due, HW11 available
W 18 Objects in the Rear-view Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are [pdf] 16.7-16.11
F 20 Quasars: Back to the Infant Universe [pdf] 17
WEEK 13 LAB 11 - Hubble Law
M 23 The Distance Ladder [pdf] 16.12-16.15 HW11 due, HW12 available
W 25 The Dawn of Time [pdf] 18.1-18.5
F 27 A Cosmos is Born [pdf] 18.6-18.12
WEEK 14 LAB 12 - Extrasolar Planets
M 30 Extrasolar Planets [pdf] [links] 5.6-5.8 HW12 due, HW13 available (not assessed)
May
W 2 Extraterrestrial Life [pdf] 19
F 4 REVIEW LECTURE
W 9, 8AM-10AM EXAM 3 TESTS WEEKS 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 University Scheduled

Department of Physics & Astronomy, 
University of Wyoming, 
1000 E. University, Dept. 3905, 
Laramie, WY 82071, USA

Tel: 307-766-6244 (direct)
Fax: 307-766-2652 (group)
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