Welcome to Astronomy 1110: The Solar System. In this class, we will study planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. The objects in our solar system are amazingly varied, ranging for sizzling hot (Venus), to icy cold (Pluto), from tenuous enough to float on water (Saturn), to virtual wrecking-balls of iron (Mercury). However, we can gain an understanding of them all with some basic physics, chemistry and geology (and with a pinch of biology thrown in for flavor).
We are also looking to teach you about science (which plays a key role in our society, yet is generally poorly understood), critical thinking, persuasive writing and how to learn on your own. While we won't spend a lot of time talking about these topics, they are built into the work you'll be doing this term. Try to be aware of these goals as well as the nominal course material.
AbsencesThe course is short, and we only have 24 class periods. Every class period, we will have an in-class assignment, and we will allow you to drop three. Class attendance is strongly encouraged, but not required. If you are planning to be absent for a class, please let us know in advance. If you have a personal emergency, please let us know as soon as you can.
Unfortunately, at times we have to deal with cheating and plagiarism. If you cheat or plagiarize, you can expect to receive a 0 on the assignment and your case will be referred to the Honor Council.
You are encouraged to work in small groups on homework
and other assignments. However, the work you turn in needs to be your own,
in your own words, and represent
your understanding of the material. It's surprisingly easy to catch cheaters
on homeworks. With on-line tools, we can also detect whether you have plagiarized
in your essay. Don't do it. If you are uncertain about whether something
constitutes cheating or plagiarism, please ask, and err on the side of caution.
|1 June||Course Introduction, What is science?
|| HW1 assigned
|2 June||Motions of the Earth
||2.1-2.4, S1.3- S1.5
|3 June||Motions of the Moon
to gravity, forces, and energy
||HW1 due, HW2 assigned, Quiz 1
|7 June||Gravity, forces, and energy
||Last day to drop course
|8 June||Light||Ch. 6
|9 June||The Big Bang to star formation
||HW2 due, SBO night|
|10 June||Big Bang and
Introduction to the Solar System
|11 June||Planet Formation
|| HW3 assigned, Quiz 2
|14 June||Planet Formation cont./ Planetary surfaces and interiors I
|15 June||Planetarium Show: Cosmic Collisions
|16 June||Planetary surfaces and interiors II
|17 June||Atmospheres I
|18 June||Atmospheres II||11.6, 14.3,14.4,14.6
|| HW4 assigned, Quiz 3
|21 June||The outer planets
|23 June||Solar system leftovers (asteroids, comets, and KBOs)
|24 June||The Sun
||Ch. 15, 17.3
|25 June||NASA Missions
||Ch. 7, 8.4
|| HW5 assigned, Quiz 4
|28 June||Extra-solar planets
||14.5, 24.1-24.4 required
24.5-24.6 are optional
|30 June||Special Topics
|1 July||Review and course wrap-up
|2 July||Final Exam