–Last updated Tuesday, May 07, 2019 at 5:48 PM

ASTRONOMY 101
Frontiers of Astronomy

Welcome to AST 101!
You have a standing assignment to check this web page at least twice a week.

Questions?  Feel free to call or stop by during
office hours (click here for the hours).

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Ringing and Beeping disrupts class.  Please set all phones to silent operation.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALL GRADES POSTED! 
Don’t get ABDUCTED over the summer!

Check your grades using the on-line grade sheet (below).

See class calendar (below).



CHECK YOUR GRADES IN AST 101

***Click Here***

With this on-line grade sheet you can check all your grades in AST 101, make sure that the professor recorded them properly, and see what your overall grade is in AST 101. 
This requires Microsoft Excel.  It works on Jefferson computers.  It may work on your personal computer and maybe on your phone.

 

WEEK 1

(scroll down for more weeks)

DT Campus (Monday) January 14
SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) January 15/17

 

 

 

Click here for class syllabus (sign and return as indicated).

 

Click here for Observatory/Field Trip assignment.

Click here for Major Extra Credit Opportunities.

 

Click here for Make Up Options for missed classes.

 

Click here for the required text book, The Known Universe (also available in the Jefferson campus book store). 
Note that the first six chapters of the text are freely available for students who may not have a text book on the first day of class—click on the “preview” to access them.

 

Click here (or here) for the secondary book, Setting Aside All Authority (also available through the Jefferson campus book store)

 

Want a copy of the software Graney uses in class?  Click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Monday) January 21 – MLK Holiday, no classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 2

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) January 22/24

DT Campus (Monday) January 28

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Chapter 3

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Read pages 10-15 of Setting Aside All Authority

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed at the start of the week’s class (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete in class).  This means completed by the start of class for classes that meet once in a week, and by the start of the first class meeting of the week for classes that meet twice in a week.  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 1-28-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

We will work on the Size of the Earth MGA this week.
Click here for the MGA.  Note the materials you need to bring to class for this MGA.
Grades posted 2-4-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 3

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) January 29/31

DT Campus (Monday) February 4

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 4

Chapter 5
Chapter 6

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Read pages 20-23 and 33 (parallax illustration) of Setting Aside All Authority

·         Helpful Animations for Ptolemy’s epicycle theory:
Click here for an animation on how the theory worked for one wandering star.
For the entire system, click here (can be zoomed in and out)

·         Videos on sizes and distances:
Size of Earthclick here
Size and distance of Moon and Sunclick here

·         Video on annual parallax – click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 2-4-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

No new MGA this week -- a test is being assigned this week!

 

 

Test for this week

TEST #1 IS NOW AVAILABLE.  Click here for details about the test.
Grades posted 2-18-2019

Click here for details on test grades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 4

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) February 5/7

DT Campus (Monday) February 11

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Helpful Animations
Click here for animation of geocentric and heliocentric theories, from YouTube, with explanations.
Click here for animation of Copernicus’s heliocentric theory for one planet.
Click here for animation of Copernicus’s theory for the entire system.

·         Video on a solution to the annual parallax problem – click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 2-12-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

We will introduce the Phases MGA this week.
Click here for the MGA.  Note the materials you need to bring to class for this MGA.
Grades posted 3-5-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Monday) February 18 – President’s Day Holiday, no classes.  And because the Monday class (which meets once per week) has already had one holiday (for MLK Day), the Tuesday/Thursday class will not meet on February 12 & 14, in order to keep the two classes in synch with each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 5

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) February 19/21

DT Campus (Monday) February 25

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Read Chapter 3 of Setting Aside All Authority

·         Read Chapter 8 of Setting Aside All Authority (or more – the secondary book is all about Riccioli)

·         Helpful Animations
Click here for animation of Tycho’s geocentric theory.

·         Videos on Tycho Brahe and Galileo Galilei:
Tycho Brahe’s observatory – click here
Galileo Galilei in Florence – click here

·         Videos on the Parallax and Star Size problem:
The star size problem – click here
The double star problem – click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 2-26-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

No new MGA this week -- we will have a help session on the Phases MGA this week (see Week 4 for that MGA).

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 6

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) February 26/28

DT Campus (Monday) March 4

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 11

Chapter 12

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Read Chapter 10 of Setting Aside All Authority

·         Helpful Animations
Parallax and star distances – click here
Kepler’s elliptical orbits – click here
Newton’s cannon – click here

·         Videos on gravity, etc.:
Riccioli and Gravity – click here
Newton’s cannon click here
A nice summary of the ideas involved in the battle over whether Earth moved – click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 3-5-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

No new MGA this week -- a test is being assigned this week!

 

 

Test for this week

TEST #2 IS NOW AVAILABLE.  Click here for details about the test.

Grades posted 3-20-2019
Click here for details on test grades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 7

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) March 5/7
Spring Break – March 11-15

DT Campus (Monday) March 18

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 13

Chapter 14

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         The Jewish calendar is dated from the creation of the world. The Jewish year 5779 began in September (with the new moon) – click here.  Click here for the Jerusalem Post and note the date at top right.

·         Ussher’s Age of the Universe & certain editions of the Christian Bible: click here. Also click here or here for recent-ish local news along this line.

·         Read Appendix D in your text book

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.

Grades posted 3-18-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

We will introduce the Ellipses MGA this week.
Click here for the MGA.
Grades posted 4-1-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 8

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) March 19/21

DT Campus (Monday) March 25

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 15

Chapter 16

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Videos:
Lord Rosse’s Telescope – click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 3-25-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

We will introduce the Spectroscopy MGA this week.
Click here for the MGA.

Grades posted 4-16-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 9

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) March 26/28

DT Campus (Monday) April 1

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 17

Chapter 18

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         The Football Field Universe calculator (requires MS EXCEL; works on Jefferson computers) – click here.

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 4-1-2019

 


 

Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

No new MGA this week -- a test is being assigned this week!

 

 

Test for this week

TEST #3 IS NOW AVAILABLE.  Click here for details about the test.

Grades posted 4-10-2019

Click here for details on test grades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 10

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) April 2/4

DT Campus (Monday) April 8

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 19

Chapter 20

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         1950 Radio Broadcast of Martian Chroniclesclick here (from a time when intelligent life on Mars still seemed plausible)

·         Official Trailer for movie John Carter of Marsclick here

·         Unofficial Trailer for John Carter of Mars click here

·         1938 radio War of the Worlds click here

·         1953 movie War of the Worlds Trailer click here

·         2005 movie War of the Worlds Trailer click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 4-8-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

We will introduce the Hubble MGA this week.
Click here for the MGA.
Grades posted 4-23-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 11

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) April 9/11

DT Campus (Monday) April 15

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 21

Chapter 22

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         NORAD tracks Santa Clausclick here. If Santa wasn’t real, would the military have a web page for him?

·         The Concorde (video) – the future of air travel in Grandpa’s day, discontinued in 2003 – click here for a nice short video, click here for a long one.

·         World’s Fastest Road Cars Koenigsegg Agera RS hits 277 mph in 2017 (click here); Mercedes W125 hits 268 mph in 1938 (click here).

·         Original Movie Trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey – the technology depicted in this 1968 movie shows what the year 2001 was envisioned to be like in your grandparents’ day, forty-plus years ago – click here. Also check out the Original Movie Trailer for 2010 (the 1984 sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey) click here. This movie has better special effects featuring our awesome 21st-century space ships!

·         The Future (2015) – the 1980’s imagines the year 2015 in the movie Back to the Future II – click here and here.

·         Opening scene in movie “Contact” – full of science errors, but illustrates the idea of SETI that signals from Earth can be detected by listeners in space, and that listeners at further and further distances from Earth will hear signals from further back in the Earth’s past – click here. Major errors include that the time delay is exaggerated too much (you would hear signals from a few hours ago at Jupiter, not from years ago) and the asteroids are far too densely packed.

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.

Grades posted 4-16-2019

 


Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

We will introduce the Aliens MGA this week (last one!).
Click here for the MGA. 
Grades posted 4-30-2019

 

 

 

FINAL EXAM PRELIMINARY INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE.  Click here for details about the exam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 12

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) April 16/18

DT Campus (Monday) April 22

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

Have these chapters of The Known Universe read before you come to class:
Chapter 23

Chapter 24

 

Supplemental material – not required, but might be helpful:

·         Searching for Solar Systems (NPR All Things Considered -- This is a pretty large MP3 audio file and may take a while to download): click here

·         The Alien Civilization calculator (requires MS EXCEL; works on Jefferson computers) – click here

 


Class Participation for this week.

Click here for Class Participation Comments and Questions, Part 1 and Part 2.  You must come to class with both parts completed (except for those sections of Part 2 that you will complete at the end of class).  You will need to have a pencil in class for this.
Grades posted 4-23-2019

 

 

Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

All MGAs have been posted – no more new MGAs.

 

 

Test for this week

TEST #4 IS NOW AVAILABLE.  Click here for details about the test.

Grades posted 4-30-2019

Click here for details on test grades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 13

SW Campus (Tuesday/Thursday) April 23/25

DT Campus (Monday) April 29

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

None.

 


Class Participation for this week.

None.

 

 

Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

No new MGA.  We will be doing the presentations for the Aliens MGA this week. and introducing the Final Exam.

 

 

FINAL EXAM for this week

FINAL EXAM NOW AVAILABLE.  Click here for details about the exam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because the Monday class (which meets once per week) has already had two holidays (for MLK & Presidents’ Days), the Tuesday/Thursday class will not meet on April 30/May 2, in order to bring the two classes fully into synch with each other by the end of the semester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 14

DT Campus (Monday) May 6

SW Campus (Tuesday) May 7

 


Reading Assignment for this week.

None.  See Final Exam information for details about this week.

 


Class Participation for this week.

None.

 

 

Miscellaneous Graded Assignment for this week

None.

 

 

 

FINAL EXAM DUE.  LAST DAY TO TURN IN LATE MATERIAL.

NOTE:  After I leave the SW Campus on Tuesday, May 7, the AST 101 classes are officially finished, and no other material can be turned in.  I will post grades as soon as I can get everything graded.

Grades posted 5-7-2019

Click here for details on test grades.