Syllabus AST 101-007 rev (1)

Syllabus AST 101-007 rev (1) - ASTRONOMY 101.007...

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ASTRONOMY 101.007 INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY Fall 2011 Instructor: David Pitonzo, Ph.D. Class Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:00 – 8:15 PM Location: Regener Hall, UNM Campus Office Hours: ½ hr before or after class or by appt. (Or just send email) email: [email protected] Text: Universe, by Freedman, et al McMillan, 9th ed. (required) Course Introduction Our class is designed as a survey course into the science of astronomy. I hope to be able to accomplish several things with our class this semester. 1) How does science work? Many people believe that they understand what science is and how it works. One of our goals will be to explore these beliefs and see how they compare with “science reality”. Our society is getting more technical with each passing year. Important political and economic decisions will be made based upon peoples’ interpretation of scientific data. All concerned citizens should be able to critically analyze these decisions based upon a reasonably firm grasp of scientific principles. 2) What are the answers to the “big questions”? Where did the universe come from? Where is it headed? How did living things arise? Are there other intelligent civilizations in the cosmos? While we may not know all the answers yet, astronomy is arguably the science that is best suited to help answer these questions. As we study different topics in astronomy, we will continually refer back to the “big questions” and see how these topics can be brought to bear upon the answers. 3) How do the movements and positions of the earth and moon influence our lives and how can we explain the basic phenomena that we see every day? We will explore such basic observations as lunar phases, tides, seasons and the changing appearance of the night sky to see how the simple motions of the earth and the forces of nature affect what we see. 4) We’ll also learn how stars live and die; what other solar systems look like and are they
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This document was uploaded on 12/13/2011.

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Syllabus AST 101-007 rev (1) - ASTRONOMY 101.007...

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