Linwood Holton Governorís School

Astronomy I and II, NAS 131/132 Syllabus

Fall 2008

 


[ To download the syllabus (pdf file), click here  |  Astronomy Home ]



Instructor:
Dr. Steve Rapp

 

Location:Linwood Holton Governorís School at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, second floor, One Partnership Circle, P.O. Box 1987, Abingdon, VA 24210

 

Web Site: http://www.hgs.k12.va.us/ or http://steverapp.pageout.net/ ††

 

Phone: 276-619-4329†††††††††† Email: srapp@hgs.k12.va.us††††††† Fax: 276-619-4328

 

Textbook:Astronomy Today 6/e by Chaisson & McMillan, 2006, Sixth Edition. ISBN 0-13-240085-5 with CD-ROM. Companion Web site for the text:http://www.aw-bc.com/chaisson/. Click on the book cover that matches your book.

 

Minimum Computer Requirements:

IBM compatible, 233 MHz processor, 1 Gig of RAM, 1 Gig of available space on your hard drive, 56 K modem (T1 line preferable), Internet Explorer 6.0 or Netscape 4.1 (the later the version the better)

 

Other Materials:

Scientific Calculator, Windows 98 or later, Microsoft Word 2003 or later, Microsoft Excel 2003 or later, ILink, Telescope Kit, 3 Astronomy Class CDs, and other materials to be announced at a later date

 

Course Delivery:

This course will be taught via the Internet with daily on-line discussion sessions. Tests will be administered on-line and homework will be collected via email.

 

Grade Determination:

Tests: Seven tests will be given and they will be open book/note.

Lab work: Twenty-nine lab activities will be assigned.  A word-processed lab report for each activity must be turned in by the due date. Information on how to do a lab report and a sample lab report are found in Pageout web links. Two to three class projects will be assigned. Your final average will be determined by adding points acquired on tests and points acquired on lab reports and then dividing by the total points possible. Grades on each assignment will be recorded in Pageout. Students may access their grades online at anytime.

 

Event Schedule:

For detailed information on weekly schedule and assignments visit: http://steverapp.pageout.net/ .

 

 

Policies:

Academic Dishonesty: Collaboration on examinations, in class assignments, and homework assignments is forbidden except where specifically specified as ďTeamĒ activities.In general, one team may not collaborate with another team on ďTeamĒ activities.Students violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action and possibly a failing grade in the class.

 

 Assignments: ALL ASSIGNMENTS SHOULD BE COMPLETED ON TIME AND TURNED IN ON THE DUE DATE. ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED UP TO 3 DAYS LATE, BUT THERE WILL BE A PENALTY OF 10 POINTS FOR EVERY DAY LATE. THIS MEANS THE MAXIMUM SCORE THAT CAN BE RECEIVED IS 70%. AFTER 3 DAYS A GRADE OF ZERO WILL BE RECORDED. MAKE SURE YOU EMAIL YOUR ASSIGNMENT FAR ENOUGH AHEAD SO THAT IT REACHES ME BY THE DEADLINE.

 

Grading System:The regular university grading scale will be used:

90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-69 = D; 59 or below = F.

 

Objectives of the Course

  • Excite the student about astronomy.
  • Provide a foundation in astronomy fundamentals.
  • Cultivate problem-solving skills.
  • Allow the student through the study of astronomy to appreciate new developments in the world of science.
  • To enhance the studentís ability to make informed judgments concerning national science initiatives.

 

Class Guidelines

1. Be on time for class.
2. Do your own work.
3. Don't miss my class to do something in another class, like making up a test for example.
4. Email me if you know you are going to be absent.
5. Participate in class.
6. Be prepared for tests. If you miss the day before the test is scheduled you will still be required to take the test on the scheduled day unless an emergency has occurred. You are to receive NO OUTSIDE HELP.
7. Email all lab reports as an attached word document to me at srapp@hgs.k12.va.us.

Curriculum Framework

 

  • Charting the Heavens
    • Our Place in Space
    • Motions of the Sun and the Stars
    • Motion of the Moon
    • Measurement of Distance
  • The Copernican Revolution
    • Ancient Astronomy
    • The Geocentric Universe
    • The Heliocentric Model
    • Laws of Planetary Motion
    • Birth of Modern Astronomy
    • Solar System Dimensions
    • Newtonís Laws
  • Radiation
    • Information from the Skies
    • The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    • The Distribution of Radiation
    • The Doppler Effect
  • Spectroscopy
    • Spectral Lines and Their Formation
    • Molecules
    • Spectral Line Analysis
  • Telescopes
    • Optical Telescopes
    • High-Resolution Astronomy
    • Radio Astronomy
    • Interferometry
    • Other Astronomies
  • The Solar System
    • Planetary Properties
    • The Overall Layout of the Solar System
    • Terrestrial and Jovian Planets
    • Interplanetary Debris
    • Spacecraft exploration of the Solar System
  • Earth, Our Home in Space
    • Earth in Bulk
    • Earthís Atmosphere
    • Earthís Interior
    • Earthís Magnetosphere
    • Surface Activity
    • Tides
  • The Moon and Mercury
    • Orbital Properties
    • The Moon and Mercury in Bulk
    • Rotation Rates
    • Lunar Cratering
    • Lunar Surface Composition
    • The Surface of Mercury
    • Evolutionary History of the Moon and Mercury
  • Venus
    • Orbital Properties
    • Venus in Bulk
    • Long-Distance Observations of Venus
    • The Surface and Atmosphere of Venus
    • Venusís Magnetic Field and Internal Structure
  • Mars
    • Orbital Properties and Mars in Bulk
    • Earth-Based Observations of Mars
    • The Surface of Mars
    • The Martian Atmosphere and Internal Structure
    • The Moons of Mars
    • Exploration of Mars
  • Jupiter
    • The Atmosphere of Jupiter
    • Jupiter in Bulk
    • Internal Structure and Magnetosphere
    • The Moons of Jupiter
    • Jupiterís Ring System
  • Saturn
    • Saturn in Bulk
    • Saturnís Atmosphere
    • Saturnís Interior and Magnetosphere
    • Saturnís Spectacular Rings
    • The Moons of Saturn
  • Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto
    • The Discovery of Uranus and Neptune
    • Uranus and Neptune in Bulk
    • The Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune
    • Magnetospheres and Internal Structure
    • The Moon Systems of Uranus and Neptune
    • The Rings of the Outermost Jovian Planets
    • The Discovery and Origin of Pluto
    • Pluto in Bulk
  • Solar System Debris
    • Asteroids
    • Comets
    • Meteoroids
  • The Formation of the Solar System
    • Modeling the Origin of the Solar System
    • The Condensation Theory
    • The Differentiation of the Solar System
    • The Role of Catastrophes
    • The Angular Momentum Problem
  • The Sun: Our Parent Star
    • The Sun in Bulk
    • The Solar Interior
    • The Solar Atmosphere
    • The Active Sun
    • The Heart of the Sun
    • Observations of Solar Neutrinos
  • Measuring the Stars: Giants, Dwarfs, and the Main Sequence
    • The Distance to the Stars
    • Stellar Motion
    • Luminosity and Apparent Brightness
    • Temperature and Color
    • The Classification of Stars
    • The Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram
    • Extending the Cosmic Distance Scale
    • Stellar Mass
    • Star Clusters
  • The Interstellar Medium: Gas and Dust Among the Stars
    • Interstellar Matter
    • Emission Nebula
    • Dark Dust Clouds
    • 21-Centimeter Radiation
    • Interstellar Molecules
  • Star Formation: A Traumatic Birth
    • Gravitational Competition
    • The Formation of Stars Like the Sun
    • Stars of Different Masses
    • Observations of Cloud Fragments and Protostars
    • Shock Waves and Star Formation
    • Emission Nebulae and Star Clusters
  • Stellar Evolution: From Middle Age to Death
    • Leaving the Main Sequence
    • The Evolution of a Sun-like Star
    • The Death of a Low-Mass Star
    • Evolution of Stars More Massive Than the Sun
    • Observing Stellar Evolution in Star Clusters
    • The Evolution of Binary-Star Systems
  • Stellar Explosions: Novae, Supernovae, and Formations of the Heavy Elements
    • Life After Death for White Dwarfs
    • The End of a High-Mass Star
    • Supernova Explosions
    • The Formation of the Elements
    • The Cycle of Stellar Evolution
  • Neutron Stars and Black Holes: Strange States of Matter
    • Neutron Stars
    • Pulsars
    • Blazars
    • Neutron-Star Binaries
    • Black Holes
    • Black Hole Properties
    • Space Travel Near Black Holes
    • Observational Evidence for Black Holes
  • The Milky Way Galaxy: A Grand Design
    • Our Parent Galaxy
    • Measuring the Milky Way
    • The Large-Scale Structure of Our Galaxy
    • The Formation of the Milky Way Galaxy
    • Spiral Structure
    • The Mass of the Milky Way Galaxy
    • The Galactic Center
  • Galaxies: Building Blocks of the Universe
    • Hubbleís Galaxy Classification
    • The Distribution of Galaxies in Space
    • Hubbleís Law
    • Active Galactic Nuclei
    • The Central Engine of an Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Galaxies and Dark Matter: The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe
    • Dark Matter in the Universe
    • Galaxy Collisions
    • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
    • Black Holes in Galaxies
    • The Universe on Large Scale
  • Cosmology: The Big Bang and the Fate of the Universe
    • The Universe on the Largest Scales
    • The Expanding Universe
    • The Fate of the Universe
    • Will the Universe Expand Forever?
    • The Geometry of Space
    • The Cosmic Background Microwave Background
  • The Early Universe: Toward the Beginning of Time
    • Back to the Big Bang
    • The Evolution of the Universe
    • The Formation of Nuclei and Atoms
    • The Inflationary Universe
    • The Formation of Structure in the Universe
    • Toward Creation
  • Life in the Universe: Are We Alone?
    • Cosmic Evolution
    • Life in the Solar System
    • Intelligent Life in the Galaxy
    • The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
 
 
      LABORATORY REPORT DUE DATES

Laboratory Activities

Tentative Due Date

Lab 1.1 Simulating a Solar Eclipse Using Sky Chart III

Aug. 25

Lab 2.1 Understanding the Imagined Epicycles of the Ancients

Aug. 29

Lab 3.1 Comparing Andromeda Galaxy Images Using NASAís Sky View, A Virtual Telescope

Sept. 2

Lab 4.1 Discovering Spectra

Sept. 5

Lab 5.1 Building a Telescope

Sept. 9

Lab 5.2 Observing the Sky from Different Locations

Sept. 15

Lab 6.1 Observing the Planets

Sept. 19

Lab 7.1 Observing a Star to Determine Sidereal Time

Sept. 23

Lab 8.1 Apollo Exploration of the Moon

Sept. 26

Lab 9.1 Exploring Venus

Sept. 30

Lab 10.1 Exploring Mars

Oct. 6

Lab 11.1 The Galilean Moons

Oct. 9

Lab 12.1 The Rings of Saturn

Oct. 13

Lab 13.1 The Motions of Neptune

Oct. 17

Lab 14.1 Observing Chiron and Hidalgo

Oct. 21

Lab 15.1 Finding Beta Pictoris

Oct. 24

Lab 16.1 Understanding the Sunís Analemma

Oct. 28

Lab 17.1 Understanding the B-V Color Index of a Star

Nov. 5

Lab 18.1 Observing the Orion Nebula, M42

Nov. 7

Lab 19.1 Observing the Twenty Brightest Stars

Nov. 11

Lab 20.1 Discovering the Relationship between Star Distance and Apparent Magnitude

Nov. 14

Lab 21.1 Finding the Crab Nebula

Nov. 18

Lab 22.1 Observing Deep Sky Objects and Globular Clusters

Nov. 21

Lab 23.1 Black Hole in the Milky Way Galaxy

Nov. 25

Lab 24.1 Discovering the Distribution of Galaxies

Dec. 1

Lab 25.1 Exploring Active Galaxies

Dec. 4

Lab 26.1 Exploring the Cosmos

Dec. 8

Lab 27.1 Cosmic Background Radiation and Supernova

Dec. 10

Lab 28.1 Looking for E.T.

Dec. 12

Quiet Skies Project

TBA

Micro-Observatory Project

TBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

           TENTATIVE EXAM SCHEDULE

Chapters 1-4

Sept. 3

Chapters 5-8

Sept. 24

Chapters 9-12

Oct. 14

Chapters 13-16

Oct. 31

Chapters 17-20

Nov. 12

Chapters 21-24

Nov. 25

Chapters 25-28

Dec. 12

 


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