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Suffolk County Community College - Ammerman Campus - DOC by YqF5V906


									                 State University of New York – Stony Brook
Course: Introduction to Astronomy (AST 101) – Summer 2007

Instructor: Prof. Matthew Pappas                                                    Phone: (631) 451-4301
E-Mail:                                                     Fax: (631) 451-4433
Course Web Page:

Office Hours: Physics Building, Room 116; MW 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Teaching Assistant(s)            Office Hours               Phone                          e-mail
   Abhijit Gadde                     TBA                      --

Required Textbook: In Quest of the Universe, Kuhn and Koupelis; 5th Ed.
                   Textbook Website:

The presentations used during class are posted on the course homepage in .pdf format. Students
are urged to print out copies of these notes prior to class to use as a guide to the lectures.

Course Objectives – This course is designed to provide students with an overall appreciation for the field
of astronomy. Specific material that students will learn during the course includes:

1.   The motions of various celestial objects and how that information is used to derive the current model
     for the universe.

2.   Understanding astronomy from an historical standpoint, focusing on how astronomical ideas have
     evolved over the centuries to the present state of the field.

3.   Learning how celestial events affect the conditions on Earth.

4.   Learning the properties of the objects within our Solar System and how a coherent theory on the
     formation of our Solar System has occurred. Also, these characteristics will be compared to plants that
     have been discovered orbiting around other stars.

5.   Learning about the different properties of light and matter and how they can be used to determine the
     characteristics of celestial objects.

6.   Trace the evolution of stars from birth to death. This includes the structure and characteristics of stars
     as they go through the different stages of their life cycles.

7.   Know how stars are grouped together (star clusters and galaxies) and the properties of these groupings.

8.   Understand how astronomers believe the universe was created, how it has evolved over time, and what
     the possible (and most probable) fates of the universe are.

9.   Have a clear understanding of the scale of the universe and our position within it.

10. Gain a sufficient understanding of astronomical phenomena in order to have an appreciation for recent
    developments in the field, as well as having the ability to differentiate between science and science-

The responsibility of attending class is placed solely on the student. If a student is absent,
regardless of the reason, it is the responsibility of that student to obtain the material that was
missed during that lecture. Make up quizzes will not be administered; any student who misses a
quiz will receive a zero for a grade on that quiz. If a student misses an exam due to an excused
absence, as determined by the professor, then that student will be given the opportunity to
promptly set-up a make-up exam with one of the TA’s. Each student is allowed to take only
one make-up exam during the course of the semester. Attendance will be taken at random
throughout the duration of the course.


The semester grade will be weighted in the following manner:

                                 Exams = 60 %
                                 Reading Quizzes = 40%

The following grading curve will be applied to the final grades. Due to the shortened time frame
of the summer semester, extra-credit work will not be available under any circumstances.

                              Course Average         Final Grade
                                 92 – 100                 A
                                  88 – 91                A-
                                  85 – 87                B+
                                  82 – 84                 B
                                  78 – 81                 B-
                                  74 – 77                C+
                                  70 – 73                 C
                                  66 – 69                C-
                                  63 – 65                D+
                                  60 – 62                 D
                                   0 – 59                 F

Exams - Tests will account for 60% of the final grade. There will be three (3) non-cumulative
lecture exams. Each exam will consist of multiple-choice questions, True/False, matching,
labeling, and any other format that can be answered using a Scantron. Make up exams, when
approved by the instructor, will consist of a variety of types of questions (including short
answer and essays) and must be set up through the Teaching Assistant.

Reading Quizzes – Quizzes will be administered periodically (see schedule) and will be based on
material covered by the text book. The questions will be taken from the multiple-choice
questions found in the section entitled, ‘Recall Questions,’ found at the end of every chapter.
Modifications will be made to ensure that students will learn the information put forth by the
questions, as opposed to solely memorizing answers. Make-up quizzes will not be allowed for
missed quizzes. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped when calculating the final average.
Academic Dishonesty

         Any work that is not deemed as a student’s own will be considered cheating. This
includes, but is not limited to, the use of “cheat sheets,” copying answers from another student,
use of a cell phone/calculator during an exam, etc. Any work that is determined to be the result
of cheating will not be accepted, a grade of zero for that assignment will be administered, and a
make-up will not be allowed to recover the grade.

Updated Course Schedule

              Session                             Lecture 1                           Lecture 2
       Wednesday, May 30          Syllabus; Scale of the Universe (1)       Theory/Observations (2, 3)

       Monday, June 4             Quiz 1; Planetary Properties (7)          Earth/Moon (6)
       Wednesday, June 6          Quiz 2; Terrestrial Planets (8)           Jovian Planets/Debris (9, 10)

       Monday June 11             Exam 1                                    Light and Atoms (4)
       Wednesday, June 13         Star Properties (12)                      The Sun (11)
       Monday, June 18            Quiz 3; Star/Planet Formation (7, 13)     Stellar Evolution (14)
       Wednesday, June 20         Quiz 4; Star Deaths (14, 15)              Star Groups (12-5, 16-1)
       Monday, June 25            Exam 2                                    The Milky Way (16)
       Wednesday, June 27         Galaxies (17)                             Galaxies (17)

       Monday, July 2             Quiz 5; Cosmology (18)                    Cosmology (18)
       Friday, July 6             Quiz 6; Exoplanets (7-7)                  Life in the Universe (19)
       Monday, July 9             Review Session                            Exam 3

Quiz Schedule

                    Quiz Number                    Recall Questions from Chapter
                          1                                    1, 2, 3
                          2                                      6, 7
                          3                                     4, 12
                          4                                  11, 13, 14
                          5                                    16, 17
                          6                                    18, 19

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