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syllabus 2 - Instructor Office Office Hours Astronomy 1400...

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Astronomy 1400 Section 002: Solar System Spring 2009 Instructor: Dr. Susan Holtz Office: Science Building Room 120 Office Hours: TT 9:30 am to 10:30 am and MW 1:00 to 1:50. Other office hours by appointment: please see me immediately before or after any class or e-mail me, and we will arrange a time to meet that fits your schedule. Contact Information: phone: (806)742-3761, e-mail: [email protected] Please use “Astronomy 1400” as part of the subject of the e-mail!! Textbooks: The Solar System, The Cosmic Perspective , Fifth Edition, by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit. Published by Addison Wesley. It should come with Starry Night software. Also for the lab: Solar System Astronomy Lab Manual by the Department of Physics, Texas Tech University Lecture: MWF 2:00 pm to 2:50pm in Sc 007 Laboratory: There is a required laboratory that is part of this course. You will receive one grade for the lecture and laboratory combined—they are not separate courses. In addition to the weekly lab meetings in the Science Building (room Sc121), you will be required to visit the Texas Tech Observatory and perhaps other off-campus locations announced in lab partly to make some nighttime observations. All necessary information regarding these activities will be posted on the web site http://www.phys.ttu.edu/~gwen/index.htm or given out in the labs. The laboratory meets in SC 121 beginning the week of January 12. If no lab is listed on your schedule, see Dr. Holtz immediately. Course Purpose: This course will satisfy a four hour laboratory science requirement. It has no pre- requisites. It serves well the student that is interested in astronomy and the student who is not science oriented but needs to satisfy the science requirement. I feel the course is very important to both groups of students. For those interested (or who inadvertently become interested), this course will give you the tools to continue astronomy as a lifelong interest. For those not really interested, it is still very important for you to have a basic understanding of science if you are to take your place as an educated member of society because the population at large determines the role of science in society—not just the scientists.
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Course Description: We begin by acquainting ourselves with some basic ideas and observations of modern astronomy. Once the modern view is expounded, we back up and historically account for how this view came about. Next the basic principles of physics that allow astronomers to learn things about the universe are covered. At this time we also examine how telescopes work, and how astronomers use satellites and space probes. Once we are done with these preliminaries, we move on to the solar system covering topics such as how and when does a solar system form.
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