ASTR 2310, Spring 2010, Brotherton Instructor

Foundations of Astrophysics: Solar System

This is a calculus-based, introductory astronomy class designed for science majors, particularly astronomy and physics majors. A follow-up course, ASTR 2320, will cover stars and galaxies at the same level in alternate years. NOTE: CLASSROOM HAS CHANGED FROM 141 TO 137.

Lecture Slides and other materials and links:

Chapter 1 slides. Blog entry with some celestial sphere videos.

Chapter 1 example problems.

Chapter 2, part 1. (pdf) Slides in ppt (may be issues with symbols). Carl Sagan on Ancient Astronomy. Youtube video. Brian Malow on Galileo. Time video. My article about Galileo for a teaching-oriented publication, Galileo's Classroom.

Chapter 2, part 2. (pdf) Slides in ppt (may be issues with symbols).

Not everyone believes the Earth moves. Check it out. We call these people cranks. Worse in private. They really exist. Not all humans have a fully functioning brain. It is sad but true.

A really nice webpage about Orbital Mechanics that I recommend for you.

Chapter 3 slides (powerpoint). Chapter 3 example problems. (powerpoint)

A nice youtube video about the Earth-Moon system.

Chapter 4 part 1. (powerpoint) Chapter 4 part 1 (pdf)

A good youtube video about phases of the moon.

The webpage for the movie A Private Universe.

Great youtube video showing lunar librations.

Chapter 4 part 2. (eclipses, powerpoint)

An ok youtube video about eclipses.

Practice exam (in pdf) covering chatpers 1-4 of the text. Note that for the exam you should know the formulas for Kepler's 3rd Law, Newton's Law of Gravitation, and F=ma. Also you should know basic geometric formulas, such as for triangles, circles, and spheres. Other formulas needed will be provided.

The electromagentic spectrum song." Dumb, but funny. Starting Chapter 5...

Bohr model video.

Chapter 5 part 1. (powerpoint)

Chapter 6. (powerpoint)

Eric Sandquist's webpage of astronomy animations, especially for now about blackbody curves.

Chapter 7 part 1. (powerpoint) Chapter 7 part 1. (pdf)

Excel file for Lab March 11. (Solar Rotation Data)

Solar Sytem in Google Earth. More Perspective on Solar System.

Wikipedia blackbody page. Lots of good stuff here, including planetary temperature around a star.

Chapter 8 Slides. (ppt)

Chapter 9 Slides. (ppt)

Chapter 10-1 Slides. (ppt) Primarily just links to youtube videos about the planets. Supplemented by lecture/whiteboard.

Chapter 11 Slide. (ppt) Primarily just a link to videos about the small bodies in the solar system, and an outline. Supplemented by lecture/whiteboard for radiation pressure and Poynting-Robertson effect.

Chapter 12 Slides. (ppt) Solar system conclusions, comparative planetology. Exoplanets, discovery techniques and properties.

Practice exam 3 (in pdf) covering chatpers 9-12 of the text. Final is Tuesday morning at 10AM.


Homework 1: Problems 1-9 from chapter 1 of Ryden. Question 10: find what you think is the best and most educational video from youtube on the topic of the celestial sphere. The one I like most I will use in future years and there will be a special prize awarded in class. DUE THURSDAY January 21 in LAB.

Homework 2: Problems 1-6. Also, please find a video online about Greek astronomy, Galileo, Tycho, or Kepler. I like the ones here, but maybe there are some other great ones. DUE THURSDAY January 28 in LAB.

Homework 3: Problems in chapter 3, 1-6, 8-10. Hint for 3.3: Taylor expansion will be useful. Ask me or Jessie for help if Taylor expansions are a new thing for you. DUE THURSDAY Feb. 4 in LAB.

Homework 4: Problems 4.1-4.9 in Ryden and Peterson. DUE THURSDAY February 11 in Lab.

Homework 5: Problems 5.5 to 5.8 in Ryden and Peterson, plus find a good youtube video for one of the major topics in chapter 5 (e.g. Bohr model, blackbody radiation, etc.), at the right level. DUE THURSDAY March 4 (A Change!) in Lab. We may be adding some additional problems soon, too. EXTRA HOMEWORK for chapter 5: 10 problems (pdf). Also due Thursday March 4 in lab.

Homework 6: Problems 6.1 through 6.6 in Ryden and Peterson. Due THURSDAY March 11 in Lab.

Homework 7: Problems 7.1 through 7.9 in Ryden and Peterson. Due THURSDAY April 1 in Lab. A few of the problems look a little involved, so start early!

Homework 8: Problems 8.1 through 8.7. Will not be graded. Solutions distributed and discussed Thursday April 1 in class and/or lab.

Homework 9: Problems 9.1, 9.2, 9.4-9.7, 9.10. Due Thursday April 15 in lab.

Homework 10: Problems 10.1-10.7, 10.9. Due Thursday April 22 in lab.

Homework 11: Problems 11.1-11.5, 12.2-12.4,12.6. Due Thursday April 29 in lab. Solutions will be handed out to help you study.

Links/items you might find of use (will be regularly updated):

The very excellent online application to check out the Scale of the Universe.

Common series expansions. Also Taylor Series Expansion.

There is an option for "subscribing" to an electronic version of the textbook: check it out here. For those taking ASTR 2320 next year, I do not recommend this option.

Links to summer programs in astronomy research funded by the National Science Foundation.

The course syllabus in html.

The lab/discussion syllabus.

Astronomy Picture of the Day is a great webpage to visit every day.