ASTRONOMY 104, Section 1: Stars and Galaxies

Instructor: Prof. Donna Weistrop, BPB 240, Tel. 895-3507,

Lectures: Mon, Wed, 10:00 - 11:15 am BPB 102

Office Hours: Mon, Wed, 2:30 - 5:00 pm, or by appointment

Text: Unfolding Our Universe by Iain Nicolson, 1999

Course web page:

All cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices should be turned off during classes and exams.

Course Outline:

Week  Date          Subject                                                                                     Reading

1         8/30-9/01   Introduction and Overview.                                                  Ch. 1

2         9/8             Light: Electromagnetic Radiation                                         Ch. 2

3         9/13-15      The Sky                                                                                  Ch. 3

4         9/20-22      Orbits and Gravity Test 1 (9/22)                                           Ch. 4

5         9/27-29      Orbits and Gravity (cont.), The Sun                                     Ch. 4, 8

6         10/4-6        The Sun (cont.), Properties of Stars                                      Ch. 8, 9

7         10/11-13     Properties of Stars (cont.), Form. of Stars and Planets       Ch. 9, 10

8         10/18-20     Formation of Stars and Planets (cont.) Test 2 (10/20)         Ch.10

9         10/25-27     The Life Cycle of Stars                                                        Ch. 11

10       11/1-3         Neutron Stars and Stellar Black Holes                                Ch. 12

11       11/8-10       The Milky Way and Other Galaxies                                    Ch. 13

12       11/15-17     Active Galaxies and Quasars Test 3 (11/17)                        Ch. 14

13       11/22-24     Active Galaxies and Quasars (cont.)                                    Ch. 14

14       11/29-12/1      Cosmology                                                                        Ch. 15/Class notes

15       12/6-8             Cosmology                                                                        Ch. 15/Class notes

16       12/13         10:10 am    Final Exam (comprehensive*)


1. Three one-hour exams during the term, plus the final, as scheduled above. Each test will be worth 100 points. Course grades will be calculated for each student by dropping her/his lowest score on the one-hour exams. The remaining two grades will each count 30%, and the final exam will be 40% of the final grade. The final examination must be taken. Students must identify themselves with a photo ID (driver's license, student ID, etc.) when turning in examinations. All exams will be closed book and closed notes. Calculators or translation devices will not be permitted.

*Two-thirds of the final will consist of questions on material covered since the third hour exam; one-third of the final will consist of questions on material from the earlier parts of the course.

2. Except for certifiable emergencies (car accident with copy of police report, serious illness with physician's note, etc.) all examinations will be taken at the appointed times. Failure to take an exam at the appointed time will result in an assignment of zero points for that exam.

If you have a documented disability that may require assistance, you will need to contact Disability Services (DS) for coordination in your academic accommodations. Disability Services is located within Learning Enhancement Services in the Reynolds Student Services Complex, Room 137. The DS phone number is 702-895-0866 or TDD-702-895-0652.