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SUFFOLK COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE Ammerman Campus COURSE: Astronomy of the Solar System (AST 101) SEMESTER: Fall 2011 INSTRUCTOR: Professor Matthew Pappas PHONE: 451-4301 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX #: 451-4433 INSTRUCTOR HOMEPAGE: www2.sunysuffolk.edu/pappasm OFFICE HOURS (T-202) Monday: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (Online); 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tuesday: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Recommended Textbook: Foundations of Astronomy, 11th ed., Seeds & Blackman Required Lab Materials: Astronomy Through Practical Investigations – AST 101 Other Materials: Scientific Calculator; 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 during the lectures. COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to do all of the following: 1. Make measurements using the metric system and perform simple forms of data analysis to enhance problem solving skills. 2. Understand the night sky by knowing major stars and constellations as well as tracking the motions of the sky, the Moon, and planets. To accomplish this, you will learn how to use a planisphere (star finder) and become familiar with the horizon coordinate system. 3. Understand the scientific method and how it applies to astronomy. This will provide an understanding of how our ideas about the solar system (and universe) have evolved over the ages, especially during the past century while using technological advances. 4. Understand the basic properties of the Earth and how they compare to other worlds. 5. Know the structure and surface features of the Sun and how the Sun affects life on Earth. 6. Learn the properties of the planets, asteroids, comets, and other objects within the solar system. Using this information, you will be able understand how these physical properties can be used to form a standard theory on the formation and evolution of the Solar System. 7. Have a clear understanding of the scale of the solar system and our position within the universe. 8. Have a sufficient understanding of astronomical phenomena so as to have an appreciation of recent developments in the field. 1 PROCEDURES FOR ACCOMPLISHING OBJECTIVES: Objectives will be achieved through classroom lecture/discussion, lab activities, and exams. Because of the nature of astronomical studies, much of the knowledge is based on mathematical interpretation of observations. For this reason elementary algebra will be used frequently and mastery of the MAT 007 prerequisite is essential to a successful course experience. If you have not studied algebra in a long time you must review the basics. Tutors are available in the Physical Science Student Help Center located in Room 16 of the Smithtown Science Building (T-16). ATTENDANCE POLICY Due to the nature and amount of the material in this course, it is crucial that each student attend every lecture and laboratory session. The College has instituted the following attendance policy, which can be found in the SCCC student handbook: "The college expects that each student will exercise personal responsibility with regard to class attendance. All students are expected to attend every class session of each course for which they are registered. Students are responsible for all that transpires in class whether or not they are in attendance, even if absences are the result of late registration or add/drop activity at the beginning of a term as permitted by college policy. The college defines excessive absence or lateness as more than the equivalent of one week of class meetings during the semester. Excessive absence or lateness may lead to failure in a course or removal from the class roster. A student may be removed from the class roster by an instructor at any time when, in the judgment of the instructor, absences have been excessive." In short, this policy places the responsibility of attending class on the student and states that each student is responsible for any material that was covered during the class of absence. According to the above policy, each student is allowed two absences for the semester, and permits the instructor to withdraw or fail any student that exceeds the number of absences. During this course, a different system will be applied as follows: Each missed day of class = 1 absences Each time a student is late for class/leaves class early = ½ absence WITHDRAWAL POLICY: Students who wish to withdraw from the course, without academic penalty, must submit a withdrawal form by mid-semester (October 27, 2011). Any student who has not formally withdrawn from the class will be considered to be in the class and a final grade will be administered. GRADES: The semester grade will be weighted in the following manner: Lecture Exams = 60% Celestial Object Exam = 10% Lab Coursework = 30% A grading curve will not be applied to the final grades and extra-credit projects are not available. 2 LECTURE EXAMS: During the semester, there will be three (3), non-cumulative exams that will cover the material detailed in lectures, readings, and other assignments. If a student misses an exam for any reason, a grade of zero (0) will be entered for that exam. Make up exams will not be administered, without exception. Students can choose to take an optional cumulative final examination on the last day of class. In the event that a student takes the final exam, the grade he/she earns will take the place of their lowest lecture exam grade of the semester, even if the grade on the final exam is lower. CELESTIAL OBJECT EXAM: An exam will be given where students will need to identify the bright stars, constellations, and asterisms as seen from Long Island. The exam will be given in two parts and take place in the planetarium. The grade on this exam cannot be replaced by the optional final exam. LAB COURSEWORK: The lab coursework will focus on the exercises found in the Astronomy through Practical Investigations packet, plus any additional exercises assigned by the instructor. The exercises are to be worked on during the designated lab time either individually or in small groups of no more than 3 students. Once students complete the assigned work they must have the work checked over by the instructor for completeness and correctness. Once reviewed, the work will be returned to the student to use as a resource for the appropriate lab exam (see SCHEDULE). Three non-cumulative lab exams will be given during the course of the semester. The average of the three exams will constitute 30% of the final average. Students will be allowed to have the following items at their disposal during each exam: their personal set of completed lab assignments; their own scientific calculator (see CALCULATOR POLICY); a ruler; a star finder (when appropriate). Students found to have materials other than those listed above will be in violation of the college’s academic integrity policy and subject to relevant consequences. CALCULATOR POLICY: The use of an appropriate calculator is strongly encouraged. When individual work (quizzes, exams) is being performed in class, the following rules will apply: 1. Students are to provide their own calculators. Calculators may not be shared or borrowed under any circumstances. 2. Any device that has network access capabilities cannot be used as a calculator. Violation of these rules will be dealt within the parameters of the college’s academic integrity policy. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY Suffolk County Community College has instituted an official college policy regarding academic integrity, which can be found in the current SCCC student handbook. Any student who is caught cheating and/or plagiarism will be punished to the fullest extent of the college’s cheating policy. This includes, but is not limited to, failure of the assignment in question, failure of the course overall, and/or disciplinary actions. 3 Astronomy of the Solar System General Outline of Topics for Foundations of Astronomy, 11th ed., by Michael A. Seeds & Dana E. Blackman Lecture Topics ATPI* Textbook Chapter Science/Astronomy Overview -- 1 Powers of 10; Scientific Notation; Algebra Review Lab 1 -- Metric System; Units of Measure Lab 1 Appendix A Astronomical Scales Lab 2 -- Planetary Properties Lab 16 19-2 Kelpler’s Law; Newton’s Laws Lab 16 4, 5 Light & Matter -- 6-1; 7-1 Exam 1 Lab Exam 1 Astronomy Observations -- 2 Horizon System; Star Finder Lab 11, 20 -- The Earth -- 20 The Moon -- 21-1 Lunar Phases Lab 9 3 Eclipses -- 3 Exam 2 Lab Exam 2 Planetarium Midterm Mercury Lab 17M 21-2 Venus Lab 17V 22-1 Mars Lab 18 22-2, 22-3 Jupiter & Saturn Lab 19 23 Uranus & Neptune Lab 19 24-1, 24-2 The Dwarf Planets Lab 19 24-3 Asteroids, Comets, Meteors -- 25 Solar System Formation & Exoplanets -- 19 Exam 3 Lab Exam 3 Planetarium Final Final Exam (Optional) * ATPI = Astronomy Through Practical Investigation 4