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green A101TTh S10 - San Jos State University College of...

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Descriptive Astronomy, ASTRO 10, Fall 2008 Page 1 of 5 ° San José State University College of Science/Physics and Astronomy ASTRO 101, Modern Astronomy, Section 3, Spring 2010 Instructor: Dr. Olenka Hubickyj Office Location: SCI 262 Telephone: (408) 924 – 5256 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: MTWThF 9:00 am – 10 am MWTh 3:00 pm – 4 pm Class Days/Time: TTh 1:30pm – 2:45pm Classroom: SCI 258 Prerequisites: Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing, and a college physical science course GE/SJSU Studies Category: B1 Faculty Web Page and MYSJSU Messaging Copies of the course materials such as the syllabus, major assignment handouts, etc. may be found on my faculty web) accessible: www.sjsu.edu/people/olenka.hubickyjcabot. Course Description This course is a general introduction to our present understanding of the origin and evolution of stars, galaxies and the cosmos. The course material will be principally a non-mathematical discussion of current scientific observational and theoretical models. We will focus on how the scientific method has been used to form our present understanding, and we will spend some time discussing how science is actually carried out. We will also review the physical laws that are at work throughout the Universe. Although many facts will be presented, the course objectives will be to understand concepts rather than to memorize facts. We will focus on these topics: 1) Brief historical background, the scientific method, and basic physical laws. 2) The techniques used in modern astronomy, including the use of spectroscopy, telescopes, CCDs, and computers. 3) The formation of stars, the Sun, and their planetary systems. 4) The formation and evolution of stars. 5) The structure and nature of galaxies and how they contribute to our knowledge of the Big Bang and the Universe 6) Current events in astronomy will be included when the topics are discussed, including details of my own research in planetary science. The news is full of the latest astronomical results, and we will discuss new discoveries as they arise. I encourage you to read the news (the newspaper or online), and bring up in class topics you find interesting! Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives During this course: Students will learn to distinguish science from pseudo-science ;
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Descriptive Astronomy, ASTRO 10, Fall 2008 Page 2 of 5 1. criticizing a pseudo-scientific proposal and identifying the classes of errors involved; 2. appraising the claims of causal relationships between sunspot activity and human behavior; 3. comparing scientific vs. nonscientific arguments, i.e. Big Bang and “Young Earth” Creation. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the methods of science ; 1. predicting the properties of stars in various evolutionary stages and then testing those predictions against observations; 2. making a statistical sampling of stars in the night sky and generalizing those results to estimate the number of stars visible in the whole sky; 3. discussing the observation and classification of various astronomical objects, e.g., stellar spectra, galaxy
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