ASTRONOMY 104, Section 1: Stars and Galaxies

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

Lectures: Mon, Wed, 4:00 - 5:15 pm BPB 102

Office Hours: Mon, Wed, 1:00 - 3:30 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          1/19           Introduction and Overview.                                                     Ch. 1

2          1/24-26      Light: Electromagnetic Radiation                                           Ch. 2

3          1/31-2/2     The Sky                                                                                    Ch. 3

4          2/7-9          Orbits and Gravity Test 1 (2/9)                                               Ch. 4

5          2/14-16      Orbits and Gravity (cont.), The Sun                                        Ch.4, 8

6          2/23           The Sun (cont.), Properties of Stars                                         Ch.8, 9

7          2/28-3/2     Properties of Stars (cont.), Form. of Stars and Planets           Ch. 9, 10

8          3/7-9          Formation of Stars and Planets (cont.) Test 2 (3/9)                 Ch.10

9          3/14-16      The Life Cycle of Stars                                                             Ch. 11

**        3/20-26       SPRING BREAK

10        3/28-30       Neutron Stars and Stellar Black Holes                                    Ch. 12

11        4/4-6           The Milky Way and Other Galaxies                                        Ch. 13

12        4/11-13       Active Galaxies and Quasars Test 3 (4/13)                              Ch. 14

13        4/18-20       Active Galaxies and Quasars (cont.)                                         Ch. 14

14        4/25-27       Cosmology                                                                                 Ch. 15/Class notes

15        5/2-4           Cosmology                                                                                 Ch. 15/Class notes

16        5/9               6:00 pm 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.

3. Students will not be allowed to start an hour exam or the final after any other student has completed the exam and left the room. Please be on time.

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.