Foundations of Astronomy Syllabus

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					Course Syllabus – Astronomy
Mr. Keebler

Text: Foundations of Astronomy 11th edition, M. Seeds, D. Backman

Course Description
        Astronomy is a course studying the objects and processes in the universe. The course will help students
to understand the very nature of scientific process through a variety of classroom investigations. Astronomy
examines the existence of matter and energy in the universe, therefore attempting to explain its (and our) origin.
While celestial objects such as stars, nebula, galaxies and quasars may be far removed from our location, these
objects are directly linked to understanding basic scientific methods and principles that ultimately explain our
place in the cosmos.

Course Objectives
   1. All students demonstrate knowledge and application of mechanics relating to the celestial sphere.
   2. All students demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between energy and matter.
   3. All students demonstrate knowledge of stellar processes related to evolution, synthesis of elements and
      calculating universal age.
   4. All students demonstrate knowledge of cosmological models.
   5. All students demonstrate knowledge of planetary processes relating to formation, differentiation and
   6. All students demonstrate ability to solve mathematical applications relating to astronomy.
   7. All students demonstrate ability to formulate hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and develop a logical
      conclusion utilizing the scientific method.

Course Requirements
   1. Students will be responsible for daily textbook readings.
   2. Exam will be given for each chapter(s)/unit covered.
   3. Labs/activities will take place numerous times throughout each unit.
   4. Quizzes will occur within each chapter/unit.
   5. Mathematics is an integral part of this class. A calculator which handles complex functions is required
      (calculators on cell phones or other electronic devices are not permitted).
   6. Written homework will be assigned for each chapter/unit covered. This homework could come from the
      end of the chapter questions, or could be a class activity which needs to be finished at home.
   7. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the teacher(s) on the day he/she returns from the absence to
      make arrangements to make up any missed assignments and/or assessments. All missed assignments
      and/or assessments must be made up within three school days from the day the student returns from the
   8. Students will acquire and process celestial images using telescopic equipment and using an on-line

Grading (approximate percentages)
Exams                 40%
Quizzes               20%
Lab/Activities        25%
Home Activities       15%
Topics Outline
Unit I: Exploring The Sky

Chapter 1      Here and Now
Chapter 2      The Sky
Chapter 3      Cycles of the Sky
Chapter 4      The Origin of Modern Astronomy
Chapter 5      Gravity
Chapter 6      Light and Telescopes

Unit II: The Stars

Chapter 7      Atoms and Starlight
Chapter 8      The Sun
Chapter 9      The Family of Stars
Chapter 10     The Interstellar Medium
Chapter 11     The Formation and Structure of Stars
Chapter 12     Stellar Evolution
Chapter 13     The Deaths of Stars
Chapter 14     Neutron Stars and Black Holes

Unit III: The Universe

Chapter 15     The Milky Way Galaxy
Chapter 16     Galaxies
Chapter 17     Active Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes
Chapter 18     Modern Cosmology

Unit IV: The Solar System

Chapter 19     The Origin of the Solar System
Chapter 20     Earth: The Standard of Comparative Planetology
Chapter 21     The Moon and Mercury: Comparing Airless Worlds
Chapter 22     Comparative Planetology of Venus and Mars
Chapter 23     Comparative Planetology of Jupiter and Saturn
Chapter 24     Uranus, Neptune, and the Dwarf Planets
Chapter 25     Meteorites, Asteroids and Comets

Unit V: Life

Chapter 26     Astrobiology: Life on Other Worlds

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