Surface of Pluto

ASTR 1010: Astronomy of the Solar System

Left: A Close-up near Pluto's equator in July 2015 observed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveals a range of youthful mountains.

Right: The far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between NASA's DISCOVR spacecraft and Earth in July 2015.

Moon transit observed from NASA's Discover mission

The Cosmic Perspective, Chapters 1-13, Fall 2015

   Course Syllabus
   Lab Syllabus
   Your professor: Petrus C Martens, martens "at" astro.gsu.edu
         GSU Department of Physics & Astronomy.

                           Course Calendar

Please note: Unexpected circumstances may result in changes to the course calendar

Part 1: Developing Perspective

August 25
         Subjects: Chapter 1, "Our Place in the Universe", sections 1.1, 1.2, & 1.3. Skip 1.4
         Chapter 1 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 1 practice questions, in PDF format

August 27
         Subjects: Chapter 2, "Discovering the Universe for Yourself", sections 2.1, 2.2, & 2.3
         Chapter 2 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 2 practice questions, in PDF format

August 31
         This week the labs start, see the Lab Syllabus

September 1
         As of today clickers are mandatory in class. Without one your attendance cannot be registered.

September 1
         Subjects: Chapter 2.4 and Chapter 3, "The Science of Astronomy", sections 3.1 and 3.2
         Chapter 3 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 3 practice questions, in PDF format

September 3
         Subjects: Chapter 3, "The Science of Astronomy", sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5

September 8
         Subjects: Chapter S1 "Celestial Time Keeping and Navigation"
         Chapter S1 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter S1 practice questions, in PDF format

September 10
         Practice Lecture for Test #1: Chapters 1-3 & S1
         Chapter 1 Review Questions in PDF format; Chapter 2 Review Questions in PDF format
         Chapter 3 Review Questions in PDF format; Chapter S1 Review Questions in PDF format
         Test #1Study Guide

September 15
         Test #1: Part 1, Chapters 1, 2, 3 & S1 (only about 45 minutes)

Part 2: Key Concepts for Astronomy

September 17
         Subjects: Chapter 4 "Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity", sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3
         Chapter 4 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 4 practice questions, in PDF format

September 19
         Open house at Hard Labor Creek Observatory (HLCO), from 8 to 11 pm. Your mandatory visit counts for lab credit.
         There is a second and last opportunity for this course on October 24. See the HLCO website for directions.

September 22
         Subjects: Chapter 4 "Making Sense of the Universe: Understanding Motion, Energy, and Gravity", sections 4.4 and 4.5

September 24
         Subjects: Chapter 5 "Light and Matter: Reading Messages from the Cosmos", sections 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3
         Chapter 5 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 5 practice questions, in PDF format

September 27
         Total Lunar Eclipse visible from Atlanta in the evening: Starts 8:11 PM, maximum 10:47 PM, end 1:47 AM.
         Five points extra credit for a two-page paper with photographs, as described in detail in the class email.

September 29
         Subjects: Chapter 5 "Light and Matter: Reading Messages from the Cosmos", sections 5.4 and 5.5

Part 3: Learning from Other Worlds

October 1
         Subjects: Chapter 6 "Telescopes: Portals of Discovery"
         Chapter 6 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 6 practice questions, in PDF format

October 6
         Subject: Chapter 7, Solar System

October 8
         Subject: Review of Part 2, Chapters 4, 5 & 6
         Chapter 4 Review Questions in PDF format;
         Chapter 5 Review Questions in PDF format
         Chapter 6 Review Questions in PDF format
         Test #2 Study Guide

October 13
         Subject: Chapter 7, Space Exploration
         Chapter 7 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 7 practice questions, in PDF format

October 15
         Test # 2: Part 2, Chapters 4, 5 & 6

October 20
         Subject: Chapter 8, Birth of the Solar System
         Chapter 8 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 8 practice questions, in PDF format

October 22
         Subject: Chapter 9, Terrestrial Planets, Interiors

October 24
         Open house at Hard Labor Creek Observatory (HLCO), from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
         This is the second and last opportunity this fall.
         Your visit there counts for lab credit. See the HLCO website for directions.

October 27
         Subject: Chapter 9, Terrestrial Planets, Surfaces
         Chapter 9 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 9 practice questions, in PDF format

October 29
         Review of Part 3, Chapters 7, 8 & 9.
         Chapter 7 Review Questions in PDF format;
         Chapter 8 Review Questions in PDF format
         Chapter 9 Review Questions in PDF format
         Test #3 Study Guide

November 3
         No Class

November 5
         Test # 3: Part 3, Chapters 7, 8 & 9

November 10
         Subject: Chapter 10, Atmospheric Basics
         Chapter 10 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 10 practice questions, in PDF format

November 12
         Subject: Chapter 11, Jovian Planets, Their Satellites & Rings
         Chapter 11 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 11 practice questions, in PDF format

November 14
         There is an extra opportunity for this course to visit HLCO for extra credit
         on your lab work. Observing starts at 6:30 pm.
         Make sure your presence is recorded.
         See the HLCO website for directions.

November 17
         Subject: Chapter 12, Meteors & Asteroids, Pluto & Kuiper Belt
         Chapter 12 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 12 practice questions, in PDF format

         Extra credit: write a three-page story on NASA's New Horizon's mission to Pluto,
         including photos of Pluto and Charon. Use your own words!
         Submit as email attachment on November 30th the latest.
         Credit equal to five test questions.

November 19
         Review of Part 3, Chapters 10, 11 & 12.
         Chapter 10 Review Questions in PDF format;
         Chapter 11 Review Questions in PDF format
         Chapter 12 Review Questions in PDF format
         Test #4 Study Guide

November 24 & 26
         No Class, Thanksgiving Week

December 1
         Test # 4: Part 3, Chapters 10, 11 & 12

December 3
         Subject: Chapter 13, Planets Around Other Stars
         Chapter 13 slides, in PDF format
         Chapter 13 practice questions, in PDF format

December 8
         Final Preparation: Questions from Students and for Students
         Practice Questions: Those in the Final Test will be similar, but not identical, PDF Format

December 10
         Finals: 8:00 - 10:30 am, Multiple Choice Test on Chapters 1-13 & S1
         What you need to know: Study Guide PDF Format

December 15
         Final Grades on D2L


Please contact Petrus Martens for comments, questions, and contributions.