Week & Date Syllabus              ASTR1020 - Stars and Galaxies     Dr. Doug Duncan
Week 1 Introductions.  The amazing age of discovery in which we live.
Aug. 28 What is Science, and how can it benefit you?   Numbers, proportions, estimation.
           Introduce the Learning Assistants  
My goals for the course. Your favorite subjects? - tell me on HW 1
What do I expect from you? Good news/bad news.  Science vs. stories about science. 
Grading. Cheating. Clickers and why we use them. Homework. On-line tutorials. Challenges.
Why employers love to hire graduates of this class!
Highlights of what the term will cover -- a bargain tour of the universe
The nature of science and astronomical discovery.
What science isn't.  Cargo Cult Science and pseudoscience.
Numbers and estimation in astronomy.  Proportions.  Units.
Homework #1 out:  Science vs. Pseudoscience
Reading:  Chapter 1, The Cosmic Perspective
Field Trip to Mountain Research Center! THURS Aug. 31. Bad weather backup
Sept. 5.  Leave at 6:45pm from Fiske Planetarium. Dress warm, don't be late!
  August 31st and September 1st  
Week 2 How do you decide what to believe? How science can be useful.
Sept. 4 The Sky  (start)
Try out “clickers”   Discuss HW 1.
Science and Pseudoscience 
Science as a way of not fooling yourself (paper cup with hole question)
Numbers, proportions, estimation.
Begin talking about the sky
Homeworks #2: Numbers and Estimation PLUS The Height of Gamow Tower, 
 or the Circucumerence of Earth (your choice)
Reading: Chapter 2.1 - 2.3  REGISTER on MASTERING ASTRONOMY website
Week 3 The sky with just your eyes
Sept. 11 Is it important to challenge pseudoscience?
Constellations.  The sky and its motions.
The sky in different places on tHaloes, and Glorieshe earth
What can we observe about the stars? Magnitude and color.
Discussion of Gamow Tower results.  Data, errors of measurement,  
Homework #3  Introduction to Sky Gazer; Sky Gazer Activity 1 - may be done in PAIRS
Reading: Chapter S1
  September 14th and 15th
Science of the Signs-  Fiske Planetarium, extra credit
Week 4 The sky, continued.  Seasons, Phases of the Moon, Eclipses
Sept. 18 The Stonehenge Challenge!
The sky (continued)
Seasons, phases of the moon, eclipses - briefly since were covered in ASTR1010 
Visit the Planetarium Thursday.  The planets don't behave! 
Show epicycles and deferents
Homework #4.  Sky Gazer Activities 2 and 3 - may be done in PAIRS
No reading assignment. 
May do SEASONS tutorial at Mastering Astronomy to prepare for midterm #1
Week 5 Midterm #1. (Tues)  Telescopes. (Thurs)
Sept.25 How telescopes work.  
Visible and Invisible light telescopes
"Tour" a few famous ones.
Why is the sky blue and why are sunsets red?
Field Trip to Mountain Research Center!  Sept. 26 (Sept. 27 rain date)
Place Stonehenge Challenge stakes
Homework #5  Reading: Chapter 6
  September 28th and 29th   New Astronomy Results with the Hubble Space Telescope-  Fiske Planetarium, extra credit  
Week 6 Light and Matter  
Oct. 2 The wonderful nature of light!
Properties of light. White light. Kirchoff-Bunsen laws.
Black body spectra.  R**2 T**4.  B-V colors.
Wave-like and particle-like experiments.
The Doppler effect
Homework #6.  Reading: Chapter 5 
Week 7 Motion, Newton's Laws, Gravity. 
Oct. 9 Kepler's laws.
Scalars and Vectors
Velocity and acceleration
Newton's Laws of motion, gravity;
  Special: Derive Kepler's 3rd Law from Newton's Laws  
Homework #7. Reading: Chapter 4
  October 13  Native American Star Knowledge Fiske Planetarium, extra credit  
Week 8 The Sun.  Surveying the Stars.  The HR Diagram
Oct. 16 Demo the Doppler Effect; invisible wavelengths of light, greenhouse effect
Structure of the sun: photosphere, chromosphere, corona, core
Fission and Fusion - energy sources
Hydrostatic equilibrium ; Solar Seismology;   Solar neutrinos
Solar "Weather" and "Solar Storms"  -- sun - earth interactions
Homework #8. Reading: Chapter 14 "The Sun"
  October 19th and 20th Jupiter as Seen By New Horizons, Fiske Planetarium, extra credit  
Week 9 Stars and their evolution I:  Star birth and Energy Generatoin
Oct. 23 Star clusters and the Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) diagram
Nebulae; star formation
Energy.  Fission and fusion.
Gas laws
stellar structure, nucleosynthesis 
Homework #9. Reading: Chapter 15 "Surveying the Stars" AND 16 "Star Birth"
Week 10 Stars and stellar evolution II:  Life and Death! 
Oct. 30 red giants and synthesis of the elements
white dwarfs and planetary nebulae
  neutron stars, pulsars, black holes  
HW #10. Reading: Chapter 17 and 18 "Star Stuff" and "The Bizarre Stellar Graveyard"
Oct. 31 (Tuesday) 7pm.  Watch "Black Holes" at Fiske.   Worth one pt. credit just like
  the mountain observing trip.  
Week 11 Midterm #2 - Tuesday Nov. 7.  Start to study "The Milky Way"
Nov. 6 Visit the Planetarium Thursday. Bring Clickers. See "City of Stars"
  No homework and no reading for this week. Start on next week's reading, homework...  
Week 12 Discovery of our own Milky Way Galaxy and Its Structure.    
Nov. 13 The Shapley-Curtis debate  
Radio and infrared observations  
A modern picture of the Milky Way  
  HW#11."Dark Matter in Spiral Galaxies."  Reading: Chapter 19 "Our Galaxy"  
Week 13 Thanksgiving Week - no classes  
Nov. 20    
Week 14 Galaxies and Galaxy Evolution.  (plus more on science vs. pseudoscience)  
Nov. 27 Three main types of galaxies  
  Gas content and star orbits in different galaxies. Hubble's "Tuning Fork" classification  
  Groups and clusters of galaxies  
  The extragalactic distance scale ("ladder")  
  The remarkable expansion of our universe  
  Evolution of galaxies  
  Active Galactic Nuclei, Quasars, Supermassive Black Holes  
  HW#12. "Hubble's Law." Reading Chapters 20 and 21  
Dec. 4 Cosmology - the Fate of the Universe  
  Dark Matter  
  Structure Formation - simulations and observations  
  The future of the expansion of the universe - will it continue? Theory and observations.  
  The Big Bang.  Two key predictions - observed!  
  Why is the sky dark?  
  Reading Chapters 22 and 23. No homework except an article to read.  
Dec. 11 Life the the Universe, Science and Pseudoscience, How Astrology Works, Review  
  Reading, Chapter 24. No  
Final Exam Sat. Dec 16 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

-If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. (303-492-8671, Willard 322, www.Colorado.EDU/

If you have a conflict with any class activities due to religious or other reasons, please tell us well in advance.   Last minute requests cannot be accommodated.  Plan ahead! See full details about religious holidays at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/fac_relig.html

I expect you to follow the University's Honor Code.  Because this class is so participatory, and not very "exam-based", a reasonable effort on your part throughout the term will lead to a passing grade, whether or not you think you are "good" at science, and you will know well before the final how you are doing.  You should not be nervous at finals time in this class!  However, cheating is the one sure way to fail.


Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Students who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Faculty have the professional responsibility to treat all students with understanding, dignity and respect, to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which they and their students express opinions. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender variance, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. See polices at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html and at http://www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/judicialaffairs/code.html#student_code

The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment (http://www.colorado.edu/policies/discrimination.html, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships applies to all students, staff and faculty. Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550. Information about the ODH and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at http://www.colorado.edu/odh

All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution.  Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (honor@colorado.edu; 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html and at http://www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode/