Astronomy 102 with MacMillan LaunchPad

Stars and Galaxies

Text: Universe 10th Edition, Freedman/Geller/Kaufman

Firstly, this course NOT a hybrid course but it has an online component through Launchpad, so it is critical that you sign up immediately. Here is a link to the store: link. You will receive an email invitation shortly - be sure to follow the steps. Here is a link to a video tutorial on how to use the system and a FAQ.

I know a science course like Astronomy seems very technical, and there could be a scary amount of math. DO NOT PANIC! You will never be asked to do math on a test. It is impossible to teach Astronomy without any reference to the mathematics that support the theories, so I will point out and explain these equations to you. You only have to know why these equations exist, maybe solve some simple addition or division problems in the online portion of our class, but not derive them. Please do not go screaming from the lecture hall if you see F = ma!!

There will be in-class tests so you will need a package of scantrons: (scantron 882). No makeup tests are offered: click here to find out why. During a testing period, once the first student leaves the room no one else will be admitted; this is because the security of the test questions is potentially breached when someone who has seen the questions goes outside. The perfunctory final exam is cumulative. The CAPER collaborative exercises in Astronomy were developed by Dr. Tim Slater and his team at the University of Arizona and are very good at leading the student to understanding. They serve to reinforce the text and my lectures, and they are a nice break from hearing me rant on hour after hour. Students work together pairs during class time; I will pass out sufficient copies of each classroom exercise for each pair. BTW, you should have one of these for the CAPERS:

ruler

My Powerpoint files are freely available for download (see Table below). These are in PDF format and should be viewable on many devices and, of course, printable. They also indicated sections of each chapter that are de-emphasized. IMPORTANT! You need to read the text, not just the Powerpoint slides! The slides can't possibly mirror everything in the text, so aside from the de-emphasized sections reading the text is critical. Also, quiz and tutorial questions have a way of finding their way onto tests, so take them seriously.

Assessments:

This makes for the following grading scheme out of 140 possible points:

Letter Percent Points
A 88% 123
B 75% 105
C 62% 87
D 50% 70

This means to get an A you need 123 points, a B requires 105, etc.

Study Guide:

Each Powerpoint presentation has an opening slide(s) "By reading this chapter, you will learn..." and a set of slides at the end "Key Ideas". Use these to focus your studying, and again, your quiz questions will often show up on your tests.

Schedule:

Week Chapter Powerpoint PDF link Tutorials CAPERs Tests
1
1
Chapter 1
-
   
2
2
Chapter 2 1, 2, & 3    
3
3
Chapter 3 1, 2, & 3 Techniques in Astronomy  
4
5
Chapter 5 1   Test 1 [1,2,3]
5
17
Chapter 17 1, 2, & 3 Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes of Stars  
6
6
Chapter 6 1, 2, & 3 Luminosity, Temperature, and Size  
7
4
Chapter 4 1 & 3 Tools of the Astronomer  
8
16
Chapter 16 1, 2, & 3   Test 2 [5, 17, 6, 4]
9
18
Chapter 18 1 & 2 Our Sun  
10
19
Chapter 19 1 & 2 Spectral Classification  
11
20
Chapter 20 1, 2, & 3 Stellar Evolution Test 3 [16, 18, 19]
12
21
Chapter 21 1, 2, & 3    
13
22
Chapter 22 1 & 2    
14
23
Chapter 23 1 Characteristics of the Milky Way Test 4 [20, 21, 22]
15
24
Chapter 24
-
   
16
25
Chapter 25 1 & 2 Cosmology and the Big Bang  
17
26
Chapter 26 1   Makeup