Introduction to the Sky and the Solar System

Instructor: Mark Whittle

This is the home page for ASTRO 121 Section 2 Introduction to the Sky and Solar System, Fall 1999. This home page provides you with information and related links to enhance your learning experience. NOTE: This home page is for SECTION 2 taught by WHITTLE. Policies, dates, exams, etc. are applicable only for that section. Whittle is available at the following locations:

This document is updated throughout the semester:
Last modified Sept 5, 1999

About this course:

This is a descriptive course that covers the appearance and changes in the night sky, the history of Astronomical ideas, the nature and evolution of the Solar System, and the search for other planetary systems. The level of mathematics required is basic algebra. Required course work includes 3 midterm exams, a final, and a constellation quiz.

  The syllabus for this course describes course policies and can be accessed on the web. For further information about the astronomy department, go to its home page: You will also find links to other astronomical web resources there.

The text for the course is Voyages through the Universe, by Fraknoi, Morrison & Wolff.

This course covers the material in the Prologue and Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 6 through 14 and the Epilogue in the text. The topics follow the course outline.

The exams are true/false, multiple choice and short answer. (Professor Hawley has written up some hints on taking multiple choice exams, to see these click here.) The exams are not cumulative, and cover topics presented in class since the previous exam. The final is cumulative with additional emphasis on the material since the previous (third) exam.


Test Dates:

Test Date
First Test Monday Sept. 27
Second Test Friday Oct. 22
Third Test Wednesday Nov. 17
Final Exam Tuesday Dec. 14 (9:00am - noon)

Other important dates:
  • Sep. 1 First Class
  • Sep. 15 Last day to drop
  • Sep. 17 Last day to add
  • Oct. 15 Fan Mtn Open Night (tickets from Astronomy Secretary)
  • Oct. 27 Last day to withdraw
  • Nov. 11 Last Day to take Constellation Lab for full credit
  • Nov. 24,26 Thanksgiving break
  • Dec. 9 Last day to take Constellation Lab, or Telescope Lab
  • Dec. 10 Last class, TA Help hours end, last day for Day Labs

Further Information TA OFFICE HOURS are held at the Astronomy Lab, in the New Astronomy Building. The TA office hour schedule is 9 to noon Tuesday and Thursday, and 3:30 to 6:30 PM Monday, Wednesday and Friday. See the TA Schedule Page for further information.
  Information about the CONSTELLATION LAB (required) and the TELESCOPE LAB (the optional extra credit lab) can be found on the Lab Info Page.