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Introduction to Astronomy Astronomy 100/section A801 Instructor: David L. White Dwhite@faculty.umuc.edu Text: Horizons, Exploring the Universe, 11th edition, 2010, Seeds, M.A., isbn- 9780495559733 Course Description (Not open to students who have taken or are taking any astronomy course numbered 250 or higher. For students not majoring or minoring in a science.) Prerequisite: MATH 012 or higher. A discussion of the major areas of astronomy. Topics include the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, and galaxies. Current topics in astronomy are also discussed. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: ASTR 100, ASTR 101, ASTR 120, or GNSC 125. Course Introduction Astronomy is fascinating. Its history is rooted in the ancient scientists, philosophers, and star gazers of ancient civilizations. The studies at that time were to determine the best time to plant crops, to determine the calendar, and to find our place in space. It is still a young and vibrant science but today astronomers study the sky to determine the origin of stars, galaxies, and the origin of the universe itself. On our journey through this course, we will look at our sun, our planet, our moon, our solar system and our galaxy. We will learn how stars are born, how they live and how they die. We will also be introduced to other galaxies and how they are similar to and yet different from our own galaxy. Lastly we will put together the pieces of astronomical and astrophysical observations and discuss a tentative model for the origin of our universe. Astronomy borrows heavily from the other sciences. We flirt with physics, chemistry, geology, biology, and mathematics. An understanding of algebra is particularly important for working some of the quantitative problems. Much of the borrowed information is well explained in the text, the sidebars, and the graphs and tables. Use the questions at the end of each chapter to gauge you level of understanding and if needed, go back and review the relevant sections again. One of the very challenging aspects of astronomy is the scale upon which we will be working as well as the time frame. The size ranges from nanometers to distances that are so large that only they are measured in something termed mega-parsecs. The time scale is staggering as well; we will go back to the beginning of the universe at about 12 billion years ago and discuss events during that time. We have only ten weeks to cover an enormous amount of material, distance, ideas, and time. Are you ready? Course Goals and Objectives After completing this course, you should be able to: explain the scientific method, why it is so successful, and how it has been used in astronomy discuss the differences between science and pseudoscience and how to distinguish one from the other explain why the naked-eye astronomical objects (sun, moon, nearby planets and stars) appear to move the way we see them move discuss the basic properties of the main types of astronomical bodies, including planets, stars, and galaxies describe the range of distances and time scales that apply to various astronomical objects and phenomena cite the evidence that supports our understanding of celestial objects and processes, such as black holes, generations of stars, and the Big Bang provide an overview of the astronomical, physical, chemical, and biological events that made it possible for life to exist on earth today discuss the impact of scientific discovery on individuals and social systems perform quantitative reasoning and present and interpret quantitative scientific information Course Materials For this course you should have internet connection, a textbook, scientific calculator, and access to various DVD’s that pertain to the subject of astronomy. For important information about ordering textbooks, please see the Administrative Policies, Procedures, and Practices section at the end of this syllabus. A scientific calculator is needed to perform the different types of quantitative problems in astronomy. To determine if a calculator is scientific look for a Xy function. Access to DVD’s such as the History Channel’s UNIVERSE, Discovery Channel or other producers is encouraged. These will provide a visual representation of the ideas and many students find this method a good way to reinforce ideas and concepts. Grading Information Grades in this course will be based upon a comprehensive proctored exam, quizzes, conference participation and two projects. The breakdown is as follows: Final Proctored Exam 40% Quizzes 25% Conference Participation 15% Moon Project 20% Total 100% For important information about proctored exams, please see the Administrative Policies, Procedures, and Practices section at the end of this syllabus. Quizzes: Two quizzes will be given and each will be worth 12.5%. Quiz content will cover material from the book prior to the quiz and will be similar to the proctored exam. Quizzes are open book but not regurgitation from the book. You will actually need to understand the material. Conference Participation: Conferences are set up weekly and topics may range from problems in the book to night observations, to information from the news. Scores for conference responses are based upon the quality of the answer, coherence of thought, and understanding of the concept not the length of your response. Failure to contribute to the conference will result in a score of 0 for that week. Four or more weeks of non-participation will earn the grade of F. Conference responses are the last day of the week (Sunday) in Japan. Project Descriptions This project will consist in determining the origin of the moon. Currently there are four theories to account for the moon but one is at present the accepted theory. You will read the different theories and explain the strong and weak points of each idea. Then you will choose one that you feel is the best fit and then write short paper detailing and supports your ideas. This project will be due by the end of week 8. Course Schedule Additional Information Week Session Dates Readings, Assignments, and Due Dates 1 JUN 13 ~ JUN 19 Introduction and the Night Sky Readings: Horizons, Ch 1-3; Conference and Questions for Week One due 19 June 2 JUN 20 ~ JUN 26 History of Astronomy and Telescopes Readings: Horizons, Ch 4 & 5 21 June last day for 75% refund Conference and Questions for Week Two due 26 June 3 JUN 27 ~ JUL 3 Information from Distant Objects Readings: Horizons, Ch 6 June 30 Last day for 50% Tuition refund Conference and Questions for Week Three due 3 Jul 4 JUL 4 ~ JUL 10 The Sun & Stars Readings: Horizons, Ch 7 & 8 QUIZ 1 5 JUL 11 ~ JUL 17 The Life Cycle of Stars Readings: Horizons, Ch 9, 10, 11 Conference and Questions for Week 5 due on 17 July 6 JUL 18 ~ JUL 24 The Milky Way Readings: Horizons, Ch 12 Conference and Questions for Week 6 due 24 July 7 JUL 25 ~ JUL 31 Galaxies & Cosmology Readings: Horizons, Ch 13, 14, 15 QUIZ 2 8 AUG 1 ~ AUG 7 Terrestrial Planets -- Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars Readings: Horizons, Ch 16 - 17 Conference and Questions for Week 8 Due 7 August MAKE RESERVATION FOR PROCTORED EXAM 9 AUG 8 ~ AUG 14 Giant Planets -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune Readings: Horizons, Ch 18 & 19 MAKE RESERVATION FOR PROCTORED EXAM 14 Aug MOON PROJECT DUE 12 Aug DEADLINE FOR OFFICIAL STUDENT WITHDRAWAL Conference and Questions for Week 9 Due 14 Aug 10 AUG 15 ~ AUG 21 FINAL EXAM WEEK The following is not written by your professor but accompanies your academic syllabus for this course UMUC Asia DE Administrative Policies, Procedures and Practices Ordering Course Materials: Textbooks can be ordered online at the Asia DE Web site, http://webtext.asia.umuc.edu/. Books ordered from any other source will be at the student's own risk. UMUC Asia cannot be responsible for problems encountered when textbooks are ordered from sources outside of the Asia DE Web site. Proctored Exams: Asia DE 10 week courses require all students to take a proctored exam at the end of the term. Students who do not take the proctored exam will receive a failing grade for the course. All students are expected to make their reservations during Weeks 8 and 9 of the session. Asia based students should make their proctored exam reservation through the Asia DE online "Proctored Exam Reservation" system (http://de.asia.umuc.edu/proctor/index.cfm), or through their local UMUC Asia Field Reps. Europe based students must make their reservations through their local UMUC Europe Field Rep Office or computer lab. Students unable to test at either UMUC Asia or Europe facilities need to arrange for an alternate proctor. For details go to http://de.asia.umuc.edu/proctor/index1.cfm, and submit the Alternate Proctor Request Form. Students who need to test outside of Proctored Exam week should review the information about early/late testing at http://de.asia.umuc.edu/proctor/early_procedures.cfm, and follow the procedures outlined there. Computer-Based Proctored Exams are a popular option for students testing at designated UMUC Computer Labs (only available during the scheduled Proctored Exam Week). Ask your local UMUC Asia/Europe Field Reps or Computer Lab Staff if their location is participating. Students at other locations or using an alternate proctor must take paper exams. Important reminder: Keep your professor informed of your testing status. Occasionally exams (particularly paper exams) take time to reach the professor or there are problems with exams being delivered. Therefore, when Proctored Exam week arrives many professors will create a special "Proctored Exam Reporting" conference in the WebTycho classroom where you can report "when", "where" and "how" you took the exam (by paper or computer). If you do not report that you have taken your exam and it has not arrived by the end of the term, the instructor will give you a failing grade for the course. Course Calendar: Summer 2011 Session 1 (10 Week Course Calendar) Registration Dates: 11 Apr 2011 ~ 13 Jun 2011 Session Dates: 13 Jun 2011 ~ 21 Aug 2011 WEEK DATES ACTIVITY 1 JUN 13 ~ JUN 19 Normal Course Instruction Begins 2 JUN 20 ~ JUN 26 JUN 21 Last Day for 75% Tuition Refund 3 JUN 27 ~ JUL 3 JUN 30 Last Day for 50% Tuition Refund 4 JUL 4 ~ JUL 10 Normal Course Instruction 5 JUL 11 ~ JUL 17 Normal Course Instruction 6 JUL 18 ~ JUL 24 Normal Course Instruction 7 JUL 25 ~ JUL 31 Normal Course Instruction 8 AUG 1 ~ AUG 7 Make Reservation for Proctored Exam 9 AUG 8 ~ AUG 14 AUG 12 Last Date to Officially Withdraw; Make Reservation for Proctored Exam 10 AUG 15 ~ AUG 21 Proctored Exam Week Contact Information: For administrative assistance contact: email@example.com For GoArmyEd issues contact: GoArmyEd@asia.umuc.edu For WebTycho assistance on workdays contact: firstname.lastname@example.org For WebTycho assistance on Saturdays and Sundays: http://support.umuc.edu/ For proctored exam information, please visit the Asia DE Website at http://de.asia.umuc.edu and click on 'Proctored Exams' For proctored exam assistance contact: email@example.com For textbook assistance: contact firstname.lastname@example.org For MyUMUC help visit UMUC 360 Helpdesk - http://support.umuc.edu/ Support for UMUC Asia students is also available by phone at 225-3696 (DSN) or 81-42-552-2510 Ext. 5- 3696 (international comm.), Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (JST). Ask your professor about his/her plagiarism policies. Here is some further guidance on how to avoid plagiarism: UMUC's Effective Writing Program "Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism" UMUC's Online Writing Center "How to Avoid Plagiarism" The University has a license agreement with Turnitin, a service that helps prevent plagiarism from Internet resources. The professor may be using this service in this class by either requiring students to submit their papers electronically to Turnitin or by submitting questionable text on behalf of a student. If you or the professor submit part or all of your paper, it will be stored by Turnitin in its database throughout the term of the University's contract with Turnitin. If you object to this temporary storage of your paper, you must let the professor know no later than two weeks after the start of this class. Please Note: If you object to the storage of your paper on Turnitin, the professor may utilize other services to check your work for plagiarism. Students With Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have disabilities and are enrolled in any program offered at UMUC. For more information, students should contact the Director, Student Affairs or e-mail email@example.com. Academic Policies: Academic Policies are not course specific and are therefore created and housed separately from this document. You may access and print Academic Policies from the Syllabus sub-menu in your WebTycho classroom or by going to these links http://de.asia.umuc.edu/policies/ or http://www.umuc.edu/policy/category.shtml. Caveat: UMUC Asia DE syllabi are tentative and subject to change, if necessary. Changes will be announced with as much notice as possible.
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