Introductory Astronomy Lectures (IAL)

David J. Jeffery

2005 January 1


Sections and Links

  1. Foreword
  2. Class Start
  3. Introductory Astronomy Lectures (IAL): Contents
  4. Lectures of Others

  1. Foreword

  2. Introductory Astronomy Lectures (IAL) is a set of online lectures that I began developing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2003--2004. The aim of IAL is to provide an online resource that serves as course text, course notes for the students, lectures notes for the instructor, and a lecturing tool: i.e., unified, single resource for introductory astronomy courses on either the solar system or extrasolar astronomy (i.e., stars, galaxies, cosmology).

    I believe IAL satisfactorially achieves its aim. Of course, good text books will often provide more detail and be consistently more accurate. Also some people prefer having a text that one can hold in one's hand and make notes on.

    As a lecturing tool IAL works well for me. The lectures are projected directly onto a big screen and the lecturer scrolls through them. The images and text and voice can be integrated. I find that students adjust quickly to not taking notes in class and in not being able to read every word. In lecturing, I focus on images, key words, questions to the class (which are inserted in the text), and occasionally on videos (which are linked from the IAL).

    Occasionally, a diagram or math expression needs to be improvised on a blackboard or whiteboard. One could also use document camera (doccam) with the projector set to mute.

    The questions to class are usually multiple choice. Hitherto, I've just used a show of hands to get responses. One could have the student use remotes (i.e., clickers) in order to collect answers. That takes more technology than I currently know how to use. Some questions are intended to elicit a response from an individual student in words.

    IAL is under construction. It is probably about 80 % complete for the solar system and about 70 % complete for extrasolar astronomy: many lectures need further improvement. For an all-astronomy, there is more than enough material. But be warned: some material is probably out-of-date, erroneous, and/or garbled. I am working to ameliorate things.

    In addition to IAL, I have created a problem bank, Introductory Astronomy Problems, in TeX format. The problems are all multiple choice. A pdf file of the problems, but not solutions, can be downloaded at the link above. I will provide instructors with the TeX source file (which includes solutions) on request. The questions are all coded for electronic selection. I can provide a fortran routine for selection, but an instructor could easily construct his/her own program.

    Alien mesmerized by copyright Alien mesmerized by copyright.

    Many images are included in the lectures. The main sources for images that are not of my own creation and copyright are Wikipedia, NASA, the National Optical Astrophysical Observatories (NOAO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Wikipedia images when they are not public domain are used under Creative Commons licenses. The images created US government agencies are usually public domain (see Copyright and Other Rights Pertaining to U.S. Government Works). I have also used architectural images from the Digital Imaging Project of Mary Ann Sullivan, Bluffton College, maps from the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, University of Texas Austin, some figures from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and some images from various other sources. In all cases, I have attempted to give the correct credit for the image and permission to use the image. In most cases, I have given a download site for the image. If anyone finds that I am improperly or discourteously using an image, please contact me and I will resolve the matter.

    In regard to my own text and images (all signed DJ Jeffery), I hereby give permission for downloading, use, and modification for any non-commercial or educational purposes with proper credit. Express permission is not required. I'd appreciate hearing from any users.

    For their support for this work, I thank the Departments of Physics (& Astronomy where applicable) of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Washburn University (WU), the University of Idaho (UI), and Northern Arizona University (NAU).

    Ast 105 lab sections meet in 1st week of classes


  3. Class Start

  4. Course Web Site and Syllabus: A course-specific site. This has to be modified for each new semester.
    Date & Time:

    There are three course streams:

    1. All Astronomy (AA)
    2. Planetary Systems (PS)
    3. Stars & Cosmology (SC)

    Exam information:

    1. Exam Announcements
    2. Exam 1 Information and exam schedule --- only updated as the time for the exam approaches.
    3. Exam 2 Information and exam schedule --- only updated as the time for the exam approaches.
    4. Final Exam Information and exam schedule --- only updated as the time for the exam approaches.
    5. Academic Success Center Workshops: Current Semester There is help.

    Inter-class entertainments:

    1. arXiv astro-ph
    2. Excite News: Science
    3. Nature
    4. Playlist of group activity videos
    5. Scientific American

    Hot Astro News:

    1. Russell Frank Astronomy Webex Lecture: Prof. Monika Moscibrodzka, 2021 Apr29, Thursday, 7:00 pm, NOT in BPB 102, but via Webex. This talk is intended for a generalaudience including enthusiasts of all backgrounds and ages. By the by, this free public lecture counts as a substitute for the interview with the instructor for Ast103/104 (for the in-person instruction course only)---which is a marked item. If you attend, just email me that you have attended and I will give you the mark. See Russell Frank Astronomy Lecture Series for past public lectures in the series.
      Webex link: https://unlv.webex.com/unlv/j.php?MTID=m9b77c4799c5efce726b9afdbd984e08a.
        Abstract:
        Two years ago, scientists presented the first image of a black hole at the center of a galaxy. We see a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. Last month, for the first time observations, revealed the signature of magnetic fields close to the edge of a black hole. These new images are the key to explaining how the black hole is able to launch energetic jets. Dr. Moscibrodzka will discuss how these images of the black hole were made and their meaning.
    2. 2019oct17 R, 10:17 am: Great Nevada ShakeOut: See Earthquake safety videos.
    3. Supermassive black hole (SMBH) imaged: announcement 2019 Apr10 see m87_virgo.html.
    4. Hey gang, there is an upcoming the eclipse season---and only 173.31 days after the last one. See 2019jul02: solar eclipse: total and 2019jul16: lunar eclipse: partial. Keywords: eclipse, eclipse season, lunar eclipse, lunar eclipse types, solar eclipse, solar eclipse types. See also useful eclipse_sites.html. Update as needed.
    5. First binary-neutron star merger observed by gravitational waves: GW170817 in NGC 4993, an elliptical galaxy in constellation Hydra, only 40 Mpc (130 Mly) away. See videos:
      1. Neutron star smash-up witnessed with light and gravitational waves, 2017oct16 | 0:54: The quick show.
      2. LIGO's latest hit: Merging neutron stars, 2017oct16 | 2:41: OK, but wordy.
      3. UC Santa Cruz Special Report: Neutron Stars, Gravitational Waves, & All the Gold in the Universe, 2017oct17 | 2:50: With Ryan Foley and redwoods. Loquaceous.
      4. Gravitational waves: GW20150904: LIGO video 2016feb11 | 2:55: Best GW170817 video ever!!!! LIGO of the gravitational waves: first observation (AKA GW150914) which came from a black hole merger. See also SciAm slideshow.
      5. LIGO: Journey of a G-Wave: Best gravitational waves video ever!!! See also SciAm slideshow.
    6. See Juno videos.
    7. phishing: Beware.


  5. Introductory Astronomy Lectures (IAL): Contents

    1. IAL -1: Introductory Astronomy: Planetary Systems Ast 103, Stars & Cosmology Ast 104: Course Website / Extended Syllabus:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 1 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 1 M by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL -1 and 0, date.

      Note 2021 Fall drop dates: Aug27 F for 100 % refund. NO refunds after, except by Oct01 F for 50 % refund for withdrawal from ALL classes (see Calendars and Schedules).

      Note 2022 Summer semester: Jun03 F: Last day to drop summer session II classes with full refund. / Ju10 F: Last day to drop summer session II classes with a W grade and a 50 % refund (see Summer Semester: Drop and Refund Policies).

    2. IAL 0: A Philosophical and Historical Introduction to Astronomy:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 1 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 2 T by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL -1 and 0, date.

    3. IAL 1: Scientific Notation, Units, Math, Angles, Plots, Physics, Orbits:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 2 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 3 W by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 1, date.

    4. IAL 2: The Sky:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 3 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 4 R by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 2, date.

    5. IAL 3: The Moon: Orbit, Phases, Eclipses, and More:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 4 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 5 F by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 3, date.

    6. IAL 4: The History of Astronomy to Newton:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 5 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 7 T by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 4, date.

    7. IAL 5: Physics, Gravity, Orbits, Thermodynamics, Tides:
      NOT lectured on, but still an RHST and on exams.
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 6 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 8 W by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 5, date.
    8. Exam 1 Information:
      Regular semester week 6 or 7 or so: At regular class times.
      Summer semester day 8 or so: 50 questions in 50 minutes, 10 minutes break, 30 minutes lecture.
      Click here for the Rules for Remote Instruction Exams/Quizzes.

      For drop dates and possible refunds, see Calendars and Schedules, Academic Calendars, year 20xx--20xx+1.

    9. IAL 6: Electromagnetic Radiation:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 7 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 9 R by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 6, date.
    10. IAL 7: Spectra:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 8 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 10 F by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 7, date.
    11. IAL 8: The Sun:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Regular semester week 10 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 8, 19, and 20, date.
      Summer semester day 11 M by 11:59:59 pm.
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 8, date.
      Nota bene: For Ast104: Stars and Cosmology, we skip, inclusively, IAL 9: The Life of the Sun to IAL 18: Exoplanets & General Planetary Systems, and pick up the story with IAL 19: Star Basics I.
    12. IAL 9: The Life of the Sun:
      Nota bene: For Ast103: Planetary Systems, one completes IAL 21: Star Formation before completing IAL 9.
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date for both IAL 9 and IAL 21:
      Summer semester day 12 T by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IALs 9,21, date.
    13. IAL 10: Solar System Formation:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 13 W by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 10, date.
    14. IAL 11: The Earth:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 15 F by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 11, date.
    15. Exam 2 Information:
      Regular semester week 11 or so: At regular class times.
      Summer semester day 16 or so: 50 questions in 50 minutes, 10 minutes break, 30 minutes lecture.
      Click here for the Rules for Remote Instruction Exams/Quizzes.

    16. IAL 12: The Moon and Mercury:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 17 T by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 12, date.

    17. IAL 13: Venus:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 18 W by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 13, date.
    18. IAL 14: Mars: The Red Planet:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 19 R by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 14, date.
    19. IAL 15: Gas Giants:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 20 F by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 15, date.
    20. IAL 16: Small Bodies of the Inner Solar System and Target Earth:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 22 W by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 16, date.
    21. IAL 17: Small Bodies of the Outer Solar System:
      NOT a RHST: Omit this IAL: It is NOT part of Ast103/104.
    22. IAL 18: Exoplanets & General Planetary Systems:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Summer semester day 23 R by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103,section1001 or 1002, IAL 18, date.
            PS/AA Sequence: NO Homework 18; Solutions 18

            This IAL is NOT complete and is NOT in narrative style. But it is a reading insofar as it can be read.

    23. Final Exam Information:
      Regular semester week 17 (or sometimes 16): See Calendars and Schedules, Final Examination Schedule.
      Summer semester last day Friday: 100 questions in 90 minutes.
      Click here for the Rules for Remote Instruction Exams/Quizzes.

    24. IAL 19: Star Basics I:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 10 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 8, 19, and 20, date.
    25. IAL 20: Star Basics II:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 10 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast103 or 104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 8, 19, and 20, date.
    26. IAL 21: Star Formation:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 11 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Summer semester day 12 T by 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 21, 22, and 23, date.
    27. IAL 22: The Main Sequence Life of Stars:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 11 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 21, 22, and 23, date.
    28. IAL 23: The Post-Main-Sequence Life of Stars:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 11 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 21, 22, and 23, date.
      Nota bene: There is NO coherent narrative, and so this IAL can be read only insofar as it can be read. Also, there is NO homework to self-test on, and this IAL is NOT on any exam---but items in it that occur in other IALs can be on exams, and so it is a useful supplement.
    29. Exam 2 Information:
      Regular semester week 11 or so: At regular class times.
      Summer semester day 16 or so: 50 questions in 50 minutes, 10 minutes break, 30 minutes lecture.
      Click here for the Rules for Remote Instruction Exams/Quizzes.

    30. IAL 24: Compact Stars: White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars:
      NOT an RHST, NOT a reading, there is NO homework, and there is NO mark for it.
    31. IAL 25: Black Holes:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 13 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 25 and 26, date.
    32. IAL 26: The Discovery of Galaxies:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 13 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IALs 25 and 26, date.
    33. IAL 27: The Milky Way: NOT a reading.
    34. IAL 28: Galaxies:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 14 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 28, date.
    35. IAL 29: The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 15 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 29, date.
    36. IAL 30: Cosmology:
      Reading-homework-self-testing (RHST): Recommended due date:
      Regular semester week 16 Saturday 11:59:59 pm.
      --- 1 week exactly grace.
      Send the email RHST report in the email BODY to david.jeffery@unlv.edu in format:
      Lastname,Firstname,Ast104,section1001 or 1002, IAL 30, date.
    37. Final Exam Information:
      Regular semester week 17 (or sometimes 16): See Calendars and Schedules, Final Examination Schedule.
      Summer semester last day Friday: 100 questions in 90 minutes.
      Click here for the Rules for Remote Instruction Exams/Quizzes.

    38. IAL 31: Intelligent Life in the Universe: NOT a reading:
    39. IAL 32: Supernovae: NOT a reading: Material to be incorporated sometime in IAL 23: The Post-Main-Sequence Life of Stars.

    40. Encyclopedia: Astronomy, Physics, Science, Technology: NOT a reading: I once had grand plans for this page as resource for yours truly and others. However, it is now mostly just a collection of selected figures (with useful captions) that can be used as lecture resource primarily by yours truly.


  6. Lectures of Others

  7. Lectures:

    The key things to know about running PowerPoint are Slide Show to get the slide show, arrow keys to go forward/back in it, and Esc key to get out of it.

    1. Daniel, Syllabus.
      1. Daniel ast103_04a: Time and Tide:
        See also IAL 2: The Sky.


      2. Daniel ast103_04b: Making Sense of the Universe:

          EOF

      3. Daniel ast103_08: Formation of the Solar System:

      4. Daniel ast103_09: Planetary Geology

        1. See Astro: Moon for extra images of the Moon.
        2. See IAL 11: The Earth: Plate Tectonics for extra images of plate tectonics.

      5. Daniel ast103_10: Planetary Atmospheres: powerpoint, Daniel ast103_10: Planetary Atmospheres: pdf, Daniel ast103_10.html: Supplement.

      6. Daniel ast103_11: Jovian Planet System: powerpoint, Daniel ast103_11: Jovian Planet System: pdf defective, Daniel ast103_11.html: Supplement.

    2. Ken
      1. Ken 27: Milky Way, Supplements to Ken 27: Milky Way