NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY AT CARLSBAD
INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY - ASTR 110G

SPRING 2001

MW: 7:00 pm to 9:45 pm
(Lecture/Lab)

INSTRUCTORS:
John and Gayle D'Mura

OFFICE:
Room 234

PHONE:
234-9345

E-MAIL:
gdmura@cavern.nmsu.edu
jdmura@cavern.nmsu.edu


OFFICE HOURS:
before and after class (or by appointment)

CLASSROOM:
Lecture: Room 235
Lab: Room 232

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Introduction to Astronomy is a survey of the universe, which includes observations, theories, and the methods of modern astronomy. Topics include the history of astronomy, gravity, light, planets, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies, and cosmology.


PRE-REQUISITES:
None

REQUIRED TEXT:
Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Ed.,
by Thomas T. Arny


Textbook comes with Interactive Explorations CD-ROM

GRADUATE OUTCOMES:
The successful completion of this course will partially fulfill the following graduate outcomes:

Effective communication
Critical/creative thinking skills
Awareness of the sciences
Collaborative working skills
Effective and responsible interaction in society
Computation skills
Basic computer skills
Awareness of diverse cultures

COURSE OBJECTIVES/OUTCOMES:
  1. Lectures will be presented to introduce new material.
  2. Appropriate films and slides will be shown as available.
  3. Laboratory will include telescope observations, and exercises appropriate to the course subject material.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND GRADING:
Students are responsible for procedures and policies contained and addressed in the NMSU-C student handbook and catalog.

GRADES:
All assignments receive a grade as follows:

number of points earned
number of points possible

To calculate a grade for an individual assignment:
1) Multiply # of points earned by 100
2) Divide by # of points possible

GRADING SCALE:
A = 90 - 100 %
B = 80 - 89 %
C = 70 - 79 %
D = 60 - 69 %
F = 0 - 59 %

Approximate weighting:
Tests: 50 %
Homework: 15 %
Laboratory: 20 %
Observations: 5 %
Magazine Summary: 5 %
Attendance: 5 %

TESTS:
There will be 4 tests, worth 100 points each. There will also be a comprehensive final exam which may be used to take the place of the lowest previous test score. This use is optional, and carries no penalty for trying (if the grade for the final is lower it doesn't count).

All make-up tests are essay format. Arrangements for a make-up test must be made before the scheduled test date, and are subject to instructor approval. Make-up tests must be taken within one week, or the comprehensive final exam becomes the make-up test.

Test questions will primarily cover material from lecture, but may also include lab-related questions, and will consist of some combination of multiple choice, true or false, matching, and/or short answer.

HOMEWORK:
The course outline below includes all reading and homework assignments from the text that will be given. Each chapterís assignment is worth 10 points. Homework may be turned in at any time, allowing you to set your own pace, but is due no later than the day of the test covering that material. Late assignments will receive a maximum of half credit. WARNING: Don't ignore the homework! Each assignment may not seem worth much, but the total adds up quickly!


LABORATORY:
Attendance at laboratory sessions is required. Most of the work on these will be done during the class period. Each lab exercise is due no later than one week from when it is assigned, unless otherwise specified.

OBSERVATIONS LAB:
Each student will be able to name and identify, with instructor verification, the following:

10 Constellations
5 Bright Stars
5 Telescope and/or Binocular objects
2 Double Stars (2 sets)

The instructor will verify the completion of each task.
This assignment is ongoing throughout the semester, worth 40 points, and due before the end of the semester.

ATTENDANCE:
Attendance is required. A grade will be given at the end of the class based on attendance. This attendance grade will be worth 40 points, reduced by one point for every absence, without regard to the reason for the absence. It is the student's responsibility to arrange for any make-up work.

MAGAZINE SUMMARY ASSIGNMENT:
Each student is required to turn in a brief summary of a magazine or internet article, worth 40 points, due on or before March 21st. The procedure for this assignment is as follows:
  1. Choose a magazine or internet article on a topic relating to Astronomy, written in the last 5 years. The NMSU-C library can be a great resource to help with this, or choose from one of the suggested magazines listed below.
  2. Write a summary of this article, in your own words, that is from 1 to 1-1/2 pages in length, typed. Include your impressions and opinions about what was contained in it.
  3. Include information about the source of your article, such as the magazine name, date, issue, URL, etc.

SUGGESTED MAGAZINES: **
Arizona Highways
Astronomy
Discover
National Geographic
Natural History
New Mexico
Newsweek
Science News
Scientific American
Sky & Telescope
Smithsonian
Time
U.S. News & World Report

** This list is not exclusive. Any other magazine with a relevant article will do. If you are not sure about your article - ASK!

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:
If you have or believe you have a disability, we encourage you to contact the Special Needs Office at this college at your earliest convenience to self-identify. Once that office is provided with the disability supportive documentation needed, the Special-Needs Services Coordinator can then begin to arrange the types of appropriate accommodations that might be required. The Special-Needs Office is located in Room 2F across from the Learning Assistance Center. You may call 234-9317 (234-9323 TDD) to make an appointment.

If you have a condition which may affect your ability to exit safely from the premises in an emergency or which may cause an emergency during class, you are encouraged to discuss this in confidence with the instructor and/or the Special-Needs Coordinator at the time of your appointment.

STUDENT LEARNER OUTCOMES:
The student will be able to:
  1. Describe and discuss the development of astronomy from its beginning to the present.
  2. Differentiate between geocentric and heliocentric models of the universe.
  3. Describe the concepts of parallax, precession, retrograde motion, and epicycles.
  4. Describe and discuss Kepler's laws.
  5. Describe and discuss Newton's laws of motion.
  6. Differentiate between mass and weight.
  7. Describe the types of orbits.
  8. Discuss the significance of Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.
  9. Describe the electromagnetic spectrum.
  10. Discuss the relationship between temperature and emission of light.
  11. Compare and contrast emission and absorption of light energy.
  12. Compare and contrast reflecting and refracting telescopes.
  13. Define magnification, resolution, and light-gathering power.
  14. Calculate the magnification power of a telescope.
  15. Describe and discuss the structure, composition and processes of the sun.
  16. Differentiate between apparent and absolute magnitude.
  17. Describe how measurements of mass, temperature, distance, and composition are made for distant stars.
  18. Describe Doppler shift and how it is used to indicate relative motions.
  19. Describe and discuss the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
  20. Describe and discuss stellar evolution.
  21. Describe and differentiate between white dwarfs, black dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes.
  22. Describe the Milky Way Galaxy.
  23. Compare and contrast population I and population II stars.
  24. Describe the classification system for galaxies.
  25. Discuss the red shift of galaxies and Hubble's Law.
  26. Contrast mythological and modern cosmology.
  27. Describe and discuss the Big Bang theory.
  28. Describe the general theory of relativity and its significance to the structure of the universe.
  29. Describe the atmosphere, surface, and internal structure of the earth.
  30. Describe and discuss the theory of plate tectonics.
  31. Describe and discuss the phases of the moon, and when lunar and solar eclipses could occur.
  32. Describe the surface features of the moon, its synchronous rotation, and lunar structure.
  33. Compare and contrast the planets and other members of the solar system.

TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE
and
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS
ASTR 110G

Subject Text Chapter Questions for Review Thought Questions Problems
Introduction Introduction 3,5,6,7 - - - 2,4
Essay #1 1,3,4,5,6,8,9,10 - - - - - -
History of Astronomy 1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11,12 1,3,5,7 1,4
Essay #2 1,2,3,4 - - - - - -
Gravity 2 1,3,4,6,7,8 2 1,7
Light & the Spectrum 3 1,2,3,4,5,8,9 1,5,6 1,3,4
Telescopes 5 1,3,4,5 1,2,4 - - -
TEST #1
The Sun 11 1,3,5,7,9,10,13,20 1,2,4 - - -
Stars 12 2,3,4,6,8,10,12,13,16,18 2 1,5,8
Stellar Evolution 13 3,6,7,9,10,11,12,14,17,18,23 - - - - - -
Stellar Remnants 14 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,11,13,14 4 3
TEST #2
The Milky Way Galaxy 15 1,4,5,8,9,19 1 - - -
The Universe 16 1,7,8,15,16,19,21,23 - - - - - -
Cosmology 17 1,2,3,4,11,13,15 - - - - - -
TEST #3
Planet Earth 4 1,2,5,8,11,12,13 - - - - - -
The Moon 6 1,4,5,6,7,8,13 1,5 1
Solar System Origin 7 1,2,3,5,8,11,13,16 - - - - - -
Inner Planets 8 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,12,14,16,17 - - - - - -
Outer Planets 9 1,2,6,7,9,11,13,14,16,19 1 2
Other Bodies 10 1,3,7,8,9,10,12 - - - 1
TEST #4 Wednesday, May 2nd
FINAL EXAM Wednesday, May 9th
(optional)



TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
ASTR 110G
SPRING 2001

Date Day Subject
1/10 W Syllabus
Interactive Explorations CD
Scaling the Solar System
1/15 M Martin Luther King Day
No School
1/17 W History of Astronomy
1/22 M History of Astronomy
1/24 W History of Astronomy
1/29 M Gravity
1/31 W Gravity
2/5 M Light
2/7 W Light
2/12 M Test #1
2/14 W The Sun
2/19 M The Sun
Stars
2/21 W Stars
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
2/26 M Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
Stellar Evolution
2/28 W Stellar Evolution
3/5 M Test #2
3/7 W The Milky Way
3/12 M The Local Galaxies
3/14 W The Universe
3/19 M The Universe
Cosmology
3/21 W Cosmology
Magazine Summaries Due
3/26 M-W SPRING BREAK
4/2 M Cosmology
4/4 W Test #3
4/9 M Planet Earth
4/11 W Planet Earth
4/16 M The Moon
4/18 W Origin of the Solar System
Comets, Asteroids, & Meteors
4/23 M Inner Planets
4/25 W Outer Planets
4/30 M Outer Planets
5/2 W Test #4
5/9 W Comprehensive Final Exam
(Optional)



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