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AST1002 Horizons in Astronomy (Session 3)

Spring 2020

Course Announcements:

MasteringAstronomy Course Code: laurence48312

Ch 1 Slides

Section #: 647141
Class Time: TR 5:00PM -- 6:40PM
Room: 7/272

Instructor: Douglas H. Laurence
Office: 7/135
Office Hours: Here

Course Materials:

For this course, you will be required to have the following materials:
Further, you are expected to have a notebook (or paper of any form), a writing utensil, etc., so that you can properly take notes during the class. Feel free to record audio of the lectures to playback later; whatever helps you learn, I'm on board with it.

Course Topics:

During the semester, we will cover the following topics. Note that these topics are subject to change with notification by the professor.

The exams will be multiple choice, containing about 30 problems each. For each exam, you will need a Scantron sheet to fill in your answers; this means you need a total of 2 Scantron sheets for the class. The material covered on each exam is (tentatively) shown in the course schedule below. Note that exam 2 is not cumulative; it only covers the material since exam 1.

Make-up exams will not be offered in this course. Instead, if you have a legitimate emergency and cannot make it to the exam, I will replace your missed exam with the average of your other two exams. If you know ahead of time that you will have to miss an exam, please let me know in advance. Legitimate reasons to miss an exam are outlined in the Student Handbook for Broward College; any other reason is up to the discretion of the professor.


Homework will be assigned through MasteringAstronomy (course code laurence48312), with roughly one assignment due each week, though it depends on how long a particular topic takes us to cover in class; you will be able to see the homework schedule through the MasteringAstronomy website. To access MasteringAstronomy, you must go to the following website: http://pearsonmylabandmastering.com. This website, speficically, offers a 2 week free trial for MasteringAstronomy in case you need time to purchase your access code.

While each homework assignment will vary in the number of questions asked, each assignment will be worth the same number of points, i.e. each homework assignment will be equally weighted. Some homework assignments which have a lot of subject matter to cover will have extra credit questions assigned. Each homework assignment will also be available for you to turn in late up to one-week after the due date, so even if you're running a bit late, make sure to turn it in! If, for any legitimate reason, you absolutely need an extension for your homework, please let me know before the due date of the homework, and I'll be happy to provide you a reasonable extension.

Tentative Course Schedule:

This syllabus is subject to change with prior notification from the professor

January 27 Ch 1: The Copernican Revolution Ch 1: The Copernican Revolution
February 3 Ch 2: Light & Matter Ch 2: Light & Matter / Ch 3: Telescopes
February 10 Ch 4: The Solar System Ch 5: The Earth & Its Moon
February 17 Ch 6: Terrestrial Planets / Ch 7: Jovian Planets Ch 9: The Sun
February 24 Ch 9: The Sun Ch 9: The Sun
March 2 Spring Break Spring Break
March 9 Exam 1 (Ch 1 - 9) Ch 10: Measuring the Stars
March 16 Ch 12: Stellar Evolution Ch 12: Stellar Evolution
March 23 Ch 12: Stellar Evolution Ch 13: Neutron Stars & Black Holes
March 30 Ch 13: Neutron Stars & Black Holes Ch 14: The Milky Way Galaxy
April 6 Ch 15: Normal & Active Galaxies Ch 15: Normal & Active Galaxies
April 13 Ch 16: Galaxies & Dark Matter Ch 17: Cosmology
April 20 Ch 17: Cosmology Exam 2 (Ch 10, 12 -- 17)

*Blue days are days off, red days are exam dates

Grading Scheme:

I use a sliding grading scheme, with exam grades dependent on how well you do.

Homework 25 points
Quizzes 25 points
Exam 1 25 points
Exam 2 25 points
Total 100 points

Grading Sale:

Letter Grade Points Earned
A 90.0 - 100.0
B 80.0 - 89.9
C 70.0 - 79.9
D 60.0 - 69.9
F < 60.0