Astronomy 1011H

Exploring the Universe, Honors

Fall Semester 2017

Galactic Disk


Professor Paul R. Woodward, 428 Walter Library, 625-8049,, Office Hours: 3:30 - 4:30 PM Mon & Wed, by appointment, or just drop by (to get to my office, go first to the DTC receptionist in 499 Walter Library).

Lecture - 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM, Mon, Tues, Wed, in Walter Library 125
Lab: 2:30 PM - 4:25 PM, Thurs, in Tate Hall B29

Please read the entire syllabus carefully; you are responsible for all of the requirements and procedures described here. You are also responsible for all announcements, assignments, changes, etc., whether or not you are in class.

A copy of this syllabus as well as PDF versions of the slides presented in the lectures will be made available on-line at
Remember that this Web site name is case sensitive, so be sure to use a lower case "a" and an upper case "H".
Study guides for the exams will also be made available at this same Web site.
To access this Web site, log into it with the username "undergrad" and password "graduallygraduate" (sorry, but the University security people made me "protect" this Web site with a login name and password).
Be sure not to confuse this Web site with the one for the standard version of this course.
Therefore be sure to append the "H" at the end of the Web site name.

Juggling Businessman

Due Dates


Midterm Exam 1: Wednesday, October 18, in Location to be determined.

Midterm Exam 2: Wednesday, November 15, in Location to be determined.

Final: 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday, December 18, 2017, Location to be determined.

Exam locations will be announced in class and posted here on the class syllabus.

Observational Project

Start observing the Moon NOW. Instructions are in your lab manual. You cannot make up for lost Moon observations later in the semester. Your observations are due in your lab section on the dates noted below. You will NOT use the on-line system set up for the standard version of this course to submit your observations.

Part I: At least 3 observations submitted as a copy of the Observing Form in your lab notebook due in the lab session on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017.

Part II: At least 9 total observations submitted as a copy of the Observing Form due in the lab session on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

Final Report: Final observations (a total of 15 observations) submitted on Observing Forms and the Final Report due in the lab on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Flipping Book

Required Texts

Text: The Essential Cosmic Perspective, Bennett, Donahue, Schneider and Voit - Any Recent Edition, standard or "Essential" edition.
Earlier editions of this book, which may be available used, are completely satisfactory.
Note that exams are based on the lectures. Therefore attend class and take notes. Slides from the lectures will also be available on the Web at The textbook is excellent for study and review, but we will not cover all the material in the textbook in class, and we will cover some material in class that is not covered well in the textbook. If you wish simply to not invest in a textbook (they are becoming ever more expensive), this will probably work just fine, as long as you review the slides from the lectures that are posted on-line. Detailed study guides are also provided before each exam.

Lab Manual (required): Astronomy 1001/1011H Lab Manual 2017 - 2018 (availible in the Bookstore)

Red Alert

Course Policies and Procedures

Special Needs - Any students with special learing needs must contact the professor during the first two weeks of class.

Academic Standards - The CLAand IT scholastic conduct and classroom procedures will be followed. You are responsible for being familiar with these. Students are welcome to work together, exchange ideas, etc. However, EACH STUDENT MUST MAKE HIS/HER OWN MEASUREMENTS AND OWN CALCULATIONS. Copying of someone else's measurements or calculations is equivalent to cheating and will be handled accordingly.

Examinations The exam locations will be announced in class and posted here on this syllabus when they become known. Bring two pencils and a photo-ID to all exams!. Exams will consist of short answer and essay questions. No notes or reference materials are allowed in the exams. If you miss an exam, see the professor about scheduling a makeup exam. Note that all makeup exams are essay. The exams are graded on a curve, and the distribution of scores will be shown in class to help you to judge where you stand relative to the rest of the class. Questions regarding the exams should be directed to the professor.

Observational Project Information START MAKING OBSERVATIONS RIGHT AWAY! and don't miss a clear night/day! Every term there are a few students who put this off. DO NOT BE ONE!! You will need your three preliminary observations by the end of the fourth week. The deadlines for the observational project are listed in the Course Schedule table below. Always save the original copy of your observation log, and turn in a photocopy or manual copy in the lab session when these are due.

Environmental Theme This course satisfies the Environmental Theme. The course introduces the students to a wide range of topics, from the Solar System and the cosmos, to the physical principles that underlie the workings of the Universe. The integrated study of the physical principles and the systems they apply to allows the students to see Earth in a broader context, and provides them with a unique perspective on our home planet and its environment. A key component of the course is an understanding of how science approaches the physical world around us. Environmental theme topics are addressed in several parts of the course, in both lectures and labs.

Running Dog


Week Topic Chapter Reading Labs and Due Dates
5-6 Sept. A Perspective on Astronomy Essential Ed: 1, 2 No lab
11-14 Sept. Gravity, Orbits, Copernican Revolution Essential Ed: 3 A
18-21 Sept. Conclusion of discussion of the Copernican revolution. Essential Concepts from Physics. Essential Ed: 4 B
25-28 Sept Essential Concepts from Physics: Light, black body spectrum, atomic spectra, Doppler effect.
Mercury, Venus, Earth.
[Material in the text on telescopes will not be covered in lectures, but there will be a lab on this subject.]
Essential Ed: 5, 7 C

3 Moon Observations are DUE IN THIS LAB SESSION

2-5 Oct. Terrestrial Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars. Essential Ed: 7 D
9-12 Oct. Jovian Planets: Jupiter, Saturn; Meteors & Comets. Essential Ed: 8, 9 E
16-19 Oct.

18 Oct., Wed.

The Origin of the Solar System.
The Sun.

(a study guide is available on-line that provides an outline of the material, aside from that covered in the lab exercises, that you will be responsible for on this test.
The exam will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in a location to be announced.)

Essential Ed: 6, 10, 11

Essential Ed:
Ch. 1 - 5, 7-9


Labs A, B, C, D, E

23-26 Oct. Stellar Evolution for Low Mass Stars;
Observational properties of stars and the H-R Diagram

Essential Ed: 11, 12 G
30 Oct.- 2 Nov. Stellar Evolution for High Mass Stars;
Binary Stars
Essential Ed: 12, 13 H
6 NEW Moon Observations DUE IN LAB THURS. Nov. 2
6-9 Nov. Supernovae, Black Holes;
Space and Time.
Essential Ed: 13 I
13-16 Nov.

15 Nov., Wed.

The Milky Way Galaxy

(a study guide will be available on-line.
The exam will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in a location to be announced.)

Essential Ed: 14

Essential Ed: 8 - 13


Labs E, F, G, H, I

20-22 Nov. Galaxies Essential Ed: 15 No Lab
27-30 Nov. Galaxy Formation and Evolution Essential Ed: 16 K
15 Total Moon Observations and Final Moon Project DUE IN LAB 11/30/17
4-7 Dec. Cosmology,
The Expansion and Long-Term Fate of the Universe
Essential Ed: 16 L
11-13 Dec. Contemporary Topics in Astronomy
Life in the Universe
Essential Ed: 17 No Lab
Monday, 18 Dec. 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The final exam will be held in a location yet to be determined.
(a study guide will be available on-line)
About 25% each on material from Midterms 1 and 2, and 50% on remaining material. .

Blinking Lil Devil


Material Points for Each Total Points % of Grade
12 Labs 23 276 27.6% See Note Below!
Observational Project Total - 104 10.4% See Note Below!
Mid-Quarter 1 - 180 18%
Mid-Quarter 2 - 180 18%
Final Exam - 260 26%
Total for the Course - 1000 100%

Grading will be assigned approximately as follows based on past experience: A: 900 - 1000; B: 800 - 899; C: 650 - 799; D: 500 - 649; F: 0 - 499 (You must receive a 'C-' or better to receive a grade of 'S'.)

NOTE! You must receive a passing grade in the Lab (138 out of 276) and the Moon Project (52 out of 104) in order to receive a passing grade for the entire class. In addition, you must take all three exams.