The class meets in 219 Cahill on M 9-10 am ; W 9-10 am; and F 2-3 pm
An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Bradley W. Carroll and Dale A. Ostlie.
Other suitable books at our level are the following, if you would like
supplemental reference material.
-- Fundamental Astronomy by H. Karttunen et al.
-- Astronomy: A Physical Perspective by M.L. Kutner
-- Astrophysics in a Nutshell by D. Maoz
The course syllabus
Ay20 (basic astronomy and the galaxy) is recommended before Ay21 (galaxies and cosmology), but this sequencing is not required.
Grading will be based on weekly homework sets, an oral midterm,
and a written closed-book final exam.
On homeworks, you may discuss problems with your classmates since the point is for everyone to learn the material. However, the work you turn in must be your own, and you should be aware that final grades will have a component reflecting your performance relative to the class.
***This just in, relevant to week 9 material: Discovery of most distant object in the solar system
A research paper on formation of the solar system in a star cluster (look at sections 1 and 2 for an overview with some more details than I mentioned in class)
Hopefully you saw the 27 September total lunar eclipse visible from pasadena
Problem sets will be roughly weekly, and the class voted on Tuesday as the due day. The cutoff time for having your solutions in my mailbox (around the corner from the classroom, to the right) is 6pm.
PS 1 - due 6 October
PS 2 - due 13 October
NOTE: as discussed in class, problem 4a is extra credit, and probably should be completed last in the sequence rather than first!
PS 3 - due 20 October
PS 4 - due 27 October
NOTE: the last two problems require some calculation and then some plotting, so allow yourself sufficient time for the latter. and please try to use a real programming language / tool that makes decent plots (rather than e.g. ms/excel)
PS 5 - due 3 November
PS 6 - due 10 November
PS 7 - due 17 November
PS 8 - due 24 November
PS 9 - due 1 December
NOTE: there is a second page
Copies in .pdf of the material shown in class are below or can be sent by email upon request. These are provided for the benefit of Ay20 student education, and are not meant for general distribution since some of the figures and other info is gathered from original references that are not always attributed.
week 1 intro and classical astronomy (22 MB)
week 2 part 1 magnitudes, colors, spectral lines (6 MB)
week 2 part 2 telescopes and instruments (20 MB)
week 3 star basics (14 MB)
weeks 4 and 5 stellar physics (20 MB)
week 6 ism and star/planet formation (19 MB)
week 7 orbits and binaries (7 MB)
week 8 stellar evolution and remnants (19 MB)
week 9 solar system (15 MB)
week 10 galaxy (38 MB)
Broaden your horizons with the Astronomy Picture of the Day
Current images of the Sun
Refresher on basic geometric optics
Get to know Planck's Law
Applet for the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution
Applets from Cornell on stellar parallax, binary stars, and stellar evolution
An eclipsing binary simulator illustrating lightcurves and projected orbits for different binary configurations.
Another binary simulator illustrating radial velocity curves for the particular case of planets, i.e. large mass ratio binary systems.
Artist's rendition of the evolution of a close, and then interacting, binary system.
The crab pulsar movie.
Last updated October 4, 2015 by LAH