astronomy class notes - AST 309 The Solar System MWF 12-1...

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AST 309 The Solar System MWF 12-1 John Lacy RLM 16.332, TTh 2-3 471-1469 lacy@astro.as.utexas.edu Marty Bitner RLM 16.312, MW 10-11 471-8275 mbitner@astro.as.utexas.edu Syllabus Text: The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System Prerequisites: AST 301 or equivalent Contents: Planets, Moons, and other bodies in the Solar system How they got to be like they are, why they differ as they do Explanations using physical laws Reading and Homework: Reading assignment each week (see schedule) On Wednesday: hand in description of three most important topics and at least one idea you want to know more about. Some weeks: homework handed out of Friday, due the next Fri. All semester: watch the planets and record your observations in a blue book. Syllabus Tests: 4 exams, no final (see schedule) Will cover both reading and class topics Closed book, no calculators Grades: 50% from homework, 50% from tests Lowest homework and test will be dropped Collaboration: Work and study together, ask us for help Write down your own answers and describe your own observations Copies of homeworks will receive no credit (for either of you) Schedule Week of: Reading: Topics: Exam days: Jan 14: Ch 1 Prologue Jan 21: Ch 2 View from Space Jan 28: Ch 3 Atmospheres Feb 4: Ch 4 Earth Feb 4 (Mon) Feb 11: Ch 4 Earth, cont’d Feb 18: Ch 5 Moon Feb 25: Ch 6 Mercury Feb 29 (Fri) Mar 3: Ch 7 Venus Mar 17: Ch 8 Mars
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Mar 24: Ch 9 Jupiter Mar 31: Ch 10 Saturn Apr 7: Ch 11 Uranus + Neptune Apr 7 (Mon) Apr 14: Ch 12 Comets Apr 21: Ch 13 Asteroids Apr 28: Ch 14 Collisions May 2 (Fri) Reading for this week Chapter 1: Historical prologue Optional assignment for Friday: If there is something in chapter 1 that needs more explanation, make a note of it and hand it to me before class on Friday. By next Wednesday: Ch. 2, Close-up view from space Assignment for next Wednesday: Describe, with one sentence for each, the three most important ideas in chapter 2, and tell me something that confused you or you want to hear more about. In general, I will be more interested in important and confusing concepts or ideas rather than facts. Planets the semester Mercury This week and next 30-60 minutes after sunset in the west, above where the Sun set. Venus only before sunrise this semester try to see Venus, Mercury, and Moon before sunrise March 5 Mars in the east or overhead in the evening all semester watch it move relative to nearby stars Jupiter rising late in southeast, rising earlier during semester Saturn in the east in the evening all semester, after Mars and fainter it follows Regulus (in Leo), watch it move relative to Regulus Moon eclipse Feb. 20, 8-11 PM Tonight If it stays clear, we will look at Mercury tonight at 6:00 from the top of RLM (Dean Keeton & Speedway). Take an elevator to the 17th floor, walk to the other end of
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astronomy class notes - AST 309 The Solar System MWF 12-1...

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