Dr. John P. Pratt, Fall 2004
Description: A non-mathematical introduction to astronomy. It covers ancient and modern discoveries about the fantastic universe we live in. It is not limited to lectures, but emphasizes observing the sky, as well as using the planetarium. Includes exercises and a report.
Goals: In the summer, when sleeping out under the stars, the student will still be able to find and name several stars, constellations, planets, double stars, star clusters, nebulae, the Milky Way,another galaxy, and even one cluster of galaxies, remembering some interesting things about each.
Text Book: Astronomy (third edition) by John D. Fix. This is an excellent text. READ the CHAPTERS BEFOREHAND!
Instructor: Dr. John P. Pratt (prof at johnpratt dot com; no phone nor office.)
Schedule: See Astronomy Class Schedule.
Notes, Assignments, Handouts: found at www.johnpratt.com under Astronomy.
Grade: Tests (250 pts); Homework (125 pts); Written Report (50 pts); choice of Astrolab = 25 pts, oral report = 50 pts, field trip = 50 pts, optional exercises = 50 pts, (75 pts + 20 extra credit). Graded on curve, 500 pts possible.
Tests: Three tests will be given on the material covered in class. Anything not in the text will be in notes on my web site. The first two tests (75 pts each) are at the Testing Center, the Final (100 pts) is in class. The Final will have 75 pts from new material, 25 from earlier.
Homework: Five homework assignments are required, due as on class schedule. Half credit will be given for late homework.
Report: One 3-5 page report written by the student is required, which may optionally be presented orally to the class. The topic may either be on a subject covered in class (see class schedule), or any subject in astronomy. If presented to the class (up to 5 minutes), it must be approved in advance (only one oral report per subject), and it must be on the day of the lecture on that subject. If written only, it is due one week after we cover that topic in class.
Astrolab: Dr. John Powell holds star labs in the Planetarium (SB 206) in the evenings, at times to be announced (paid by lab fees). If you attend this lab, return a slip signed by him.
Field Trip The student may attend one optional field trip to a dark site west of the valley. Location and dates will be posted on WebCT a day or so in advance. The student must provide transportation and must sign waiver releasing UVSC of responsibility. Bring coat and binoculars if possible.