AST 1210: INTRODUCTION TO THE SKY AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM

FALL 2013


Introductory Comments


Course website: www.astro.virginia.edu/ae3f/AST1210
Course materials, announcements, and lecture notes will be made available on the AST 1210 course website.

Instructor: Prof. Aaron Evans, 530 McCormick 229, 434-924-4896, aevans@virginia.edu.
Office hours: T, 3:30-5:30pm.

Prerequisites: None. This course is designed for the student with little or no training in science. A reasonable background would include the usual high school chemistry course, although with a little effort even that may not be necessary.


Course Structure: Lectures will be given twice a week: Tuesday and Thursday at 2:00-3:15PM in Clark 107

Grading: Grades will be based on


Tests: All exams will be non-cumulative. They will be based on the material covered since the previous exam. The format of the exams will be multiple choice. A week before each exam, you have the option of submitting sample test questions to me - I will select some of these questions for the exam.

These sample test questions will be the only form of extra credit in the course. Requests for additional extra credit assignments will not be entertained.

Note that the use of electronic devices (including, but not limited to, calculators, cellular phones, PDAs, Pocket PCs, and pagers) during tests is strictly forbidden. All materials you bring into the room must be put on the floor under your seat during the examination.

The FINAL EXAM will be on Monday, December 16, 2013 from 9am to 12pm.

Take-home quizzes: Are designed to have students calculate various quantities discussed in class. Such calculations will give the students a better mathematical feel of class concepts.

Laboratory Exercises: You will be required to complete two labs this semester, the Constellation Lab and the Telescope Observing Lab. Constellation Lab: This lab consists of learning the names and locations of the brightest stars and constellations, completing a worksheet, and passing a short quiz. The lab can be completed in a single night, and you may repeat it to earn a higher grade.
Telescope Observing: In this lab you will attend a single observing session at the Leander McCormick Observatory and sketch at least three objects as seen through the telescopes.
See the Lab Information page for dates and times. You must sign up for an observing session in advance.


Textbook: The Cosmic Perspective, Sixth Edition., by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit, published by Addison Wesley. This book is required.

We will follow the text rather closely for most of the course. Additional updated material will be added in where needed. In the examinations you will be responsible for the material covered in the text as well as that presented in the lectures, whether or not it appears in the text.

Note that the Clicker, Mastering Astronomy, and Starry Night are not required for this course.


Courtesy: Students are expected to show respect towards their fellow students. Cellular phones and pagers should be turned off during class. Students engaging in disruptive behavior (including loud talking) will be asked to leave. Students should arrive on time, and not leave before the class is ended.


Honor Code : All activities done as part of your grade for this class are bound by the honor code.

Special Needs: If anyone has a condition which will make it difficult for them to carry out the work as outlined above or which will require extra time on exams, please let me know in the first week or so of class so that appropriate arrangements can be made.


Tentative Calendar

Lecture # Month Day Chptr Topic
1 Aug 27 Curiosity
2 Aug 29 1 Our Place in the Universe
3 Sep 3 1 Our Place in the Universe
4 Sep 5 2 Discovering the Universe for Yourself
5 Sep 10 2 Discovering the Universe for Yourself
6 Sep 12 3 The Science of Astronomy
7 Sep 17 3 The Science of Astronomy
8 Sep 19 4 Understanding Motion, Energy and Gravity
9 Sep 24 4 Understanding Motion, Energy and Gravity
10 Sep 26 5 Light and Matter
11 Oct 1 14 The Sun
Oct 3 Exam 1
12 Oct 8 14 The Sun
Oct 10 15 & 17 Stellar Evolution
13 Oct 15 Reading Day
14 Oct 17 6 Telescopes
14 Oct 22 7 & 8 Formation of the Solar System
14 Oct 24 12.1 Meteorites & Asteroids
14 Oct 29 12.2,12.3 Comets and Kuiper Belt Objects
14 Oct 31 9.3 The Moon
14 Nov 5 9 Interior Structure of the Terrestrial Planets
14 Nov 7 Exam 2
14 Nov 12 10 The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets
14 Nov 14 10 The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets
14 Nov 19 9 & 10 Mercury & Venus
14 Nov 21 9 & 10 Mars
14 Nov 26 11 The Jovian Planets
14 Dec 3 10 The Jovian Moons
14 Dec 5 13 Extrasolar Planets
Final Exam - Monday, December 16, 9am - 12pm




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