green A10s01-S10

green A10s01-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 10, Descriptive Astronomy, Section 1, Spring 2010 Instructor: Dr. Olenka Hubickyj Office Location: SCI 262 Telephone: (408) 924 – 5256 Email: ohubickyj@science.sjsu.edu Office Hours: MTWThF 9:00 am – 10 am MWTh 3:00 pm – 4 pm Class Days/Time: TTh 10:30 am to 11:45 am Classroom: SCI 258 Prerequisites: None. 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) ; www.sjsu.edu/people/olenka.hubickyjcabot Course Description This course is a general introduction to our present understanding of the origin and evolution of our solar system, the planets, and the other objects that orbit the Sun. How did the solar system form and eventually evolve to one containing planets, including at least one that harbors life? 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 and structure of the Sun. 4) The formation and evolution of planets. 5) The possibility of past, present, or future life on other worlds, such as Mars and Europa. 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 and/or internet websites ) and to bring up the topics in class you find interesting! Course Goals and Student Learning Objecti ves During this course: Students will learn to distinguish science from pseudo-science ; 1. criticizing a pseudo-scientific proposal and identifying the classes of errors involved;
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Descriptive Astronomy, ASTRO 10, Fall 2008 Page 2 of 5 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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green A10s01-S10 - San Jos State University College of...

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