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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Krzysztof L. Suberlak
ASTR 101
Seattle Campus


Introduction to the universe, with emphasis on conceptual, as contrasted with mathematical, comprehension. Modern theories, observations; ideas concerning nature, evolution of galaxies; quasars, stars, black holes, planets, solar system. Not open for credit to students who have taken ASTR 102 or ASTR 301; not open to upper-division students majoring in physical sciences or engineering. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

Introductory astronomy

Student learning goals

* explain the concept of the celestial sphere, its divisions, labels, and use. * apply his or her knowledge of terrestrial physics (Newton's laws of motion and gravity, conservation laws) to celestial events. *recognize the various kinds of spectra and describe the mechanisms that produce them both geometrically and at the atomic level.

*outline the major components of the current theory of how planets and stars form. *summarize the various ways astronomers classify stars and use these classifications to define physical characteristics of stars.

*review the changes made in the luminosities, temperatures, and radii of variable stars and relate these changes to stellar evolution. * create a flowchart of stellar evolution for a sun-like star and a 10+ solar-mass star.

*discuss the various ways stars "die." *identify the major regions of the Sun and state where and how energy is created and transported to the Sun's surface.

*communicate effectively what is meant by the Earth-Sun connection. *describe the Milky Way, our location in it, stellar populations and what they tell us, how material is recycled. *summarize current theories of how the Galaxy formed and what lies at its very center. *classify galaxies and relate the classification scheme to the formation and evolution of the Universe. *list at least 4 steps of the "distance ladder" and state how observations using the methods in these steps led us to our current view of space and time.

*explain what is meant by the concept of "look-back time" and how it is used to study galaxy evolution. *give an overview of the Big Bang theory including how it explains the current state of the Universe and supporting evidence. *compare the models of the various fates of the Universe, citing evidence that supports each model. *throughout the course, interpret and use information contained in a chart or graph.

General method of instruction

Lectures three times a week, sections (classes) twice a week, including usage of a projector, blackboard, and various activities to enhance the learning experience (eg. planetarium, spectrometer...)

Recommended preparation

Read the course textbook, and attend all lectures and sections, look at the course website...

Class assignments and grading

Participation: 5 marks max. Written assignments: case basis.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Krzysztof L. Suberlak
Date: 09/23/2013