ASTR 102: Introduction to Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology

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1 ASTR 102: Introduction to Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology Course Overview Welcome to ASTR 102 Introduction to Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology! ASTR 102 is the second of a two-course sequence. This semester we will explore the following topics: The Sun Stellar Observables Stellar Formation and Evolution Stellar Explosions and Neutron Stars Relativity and Black Holes The Milky Way Galaxy Normal and Active Galaxies Cosmology The Early Universe It should be fun! Astronomy is a scientific subject, and you can expect to work with scientific equations and mathematics as we explore the universe. If you like ASTR 102, then next semester I encourage you to take ASTR 101L: Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory. Required Text See course description for up-to-date listing of materials. Required Software WebAssign WebAssign, a homework management system, is required for this course. Students must purchase a WebAssign access code, which is available from Friday Center Books & Gifts or from the WebAssign site. WebAssign will be used for your homework, midterms, and final exams. There is a link to WebAssign in the navigation bar on the left side of this Sakai site. You will be directed to a page where you will create a WebAssign account (that is, set up your own username and password). Note: If you have set up a WebAssign account in the past for

2 another class, you can click I already have a WebAssign account and you will then be asked for your log in information. Please store your log-in information in a safe place so that you can retrieve it if necessary. After this first log in, you must use the new username and password you ve established whenever you log in to WebAssign. Once you have created your username and password and entered your address, you will see a page that asks you to either enter the access code you have already purchased or to purchase an access code. Note that even if you already have a WebAssign account, you will need to purchase an access code for this course. Course Components ASTR 102 has nine lessons, two midterm exams, and a final exam. In addition, you will be expected to participate in the class discussion forums. Lessons Here is a description of what you will encounter in the lessons: Reading Assignments All reading assignments will be from Astronomy Today. I both like and dislike this text. It does a good job of explaining why things are the way that they are, instead of treating the material superficially like most introductory astronomy texts do, but I do not like how the material is ordered, particularly near the end of the text. Consequently, in each lesson I suggest not only what to read, but what order you should read it in. The Study Area in MasteringAstronomy.com contains a number of extras: short animations, videos, and interactive tutorials. Some of these are part of your reading assignment in each lesson. Many are quite good, while some are probably more trouble than they are worth. However, I imagine that each of you will find different parts to be helpful, so I have included as many of the relevant ones as I could identify in the reading assignments. I strongly encourage you to try them. If you find one helpful great. If not, maybe the next one will be better. In any case, these are meant only to reinforce the material in the text they are not meant to be integral to your learning of this material. This Web site is available to you for free by entering the access code provided with your textbook. Math Notes, Summaries, and Postulates Almost every lesson has at least one, and sometimes all three, of these: Math Notes: These are meant to help you do the homework problems, roughly half of which involve some math. They organize and expand upon the math that you will encounter in the text, often providing examples that parallel homework problems. I strongly encourage you to make use of these. Summaries: The summaries are meant to flesh out topics that are covered more briefly in the text, or to provide you with a brief recap of important information. I do not expect you to memorize all of this information. Rather, you should view these as references that you can go to if you want or need more information.

3 Exams Postulates: These sections provide restatements of Einstein s postulates from the text. I have included them in your lessons for easy access and to show you how they apply to specific aspects of astronomy. Homework Each lesson concludes with a homework assignment. Homework assignments will be administered through a software package called WebAssign. There is a link to WebAssign in the left navigation bar here in Sakai. See Required Software for access information. Homework will be available at WebAssign at the beginning of the lesson and will always be due before 10 pm on the due date (see the Schedule for due dates). Do not wait until the last minute to submit your homework! After submitting your homework, check to make sure that WebAssign received your submission before logging off. Late homework will not be accepted without a medical excuse. I strongly encourage you to make use of the discussion forums to work on the homework assignments with your classmates. There is a Forums link in the left navigation bar. There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. The second midterm will only be on material covered after the first midterm. The final will be cumulative, but with an emphasis on the material covered after the second midterm. Exams will be made available by the professor a week before the due dates (see the Schedule for exam dates). Makeup exams will not be given without a medical excuse. Exams are open book and open notes. However, you are not permitted to consult with anyone (except me) about your exams. Although I encourage you to work as a group on the homework, you must take the exams on your own. Participation Participation in the discussion forums is an important component of the course and will count for 25 percent of your final grade. I strongly encourage you use the discussion forums to discuss the homework the material in the text the material in the lessons any other burning astronomy questions that you might have. I encourage you to present questions to the group and to discuss what you think the answers to others questions might be. I will monitor the discussions and jump in from time to time to help out. But do not feel that this means that you cannot ask me questions directly I live to answer astronomy questions! An appropriate question for the discussion forum might be, How can astronomers detect black holes if they don t emit any light? An inappropriate question might be, What s the answer to question 3? An appropriate response to the first question might be, I think that one way is that they detect gas flowing into them. But how do they know it s a black hole that the gas is flowing into? Feel free to be more verbose than in these abbreviated examples.

4 Grades Final grades will be assigned on a curve at the end of the course. Roughly, the top 25 percent of the class will receive As, the next 35 percent will receive Bs, the next 25 percent will receive Cs, the next 10 percent will receive Ds, and the next 5 percent will be considered for an F. However, you have to do very poor work to get an F. Your grade will be determined as follows: Homework: 25 percent of your final grade. Your lowest grade on the nine homework assignments will be dropped. An extra-credit homework a two-page essay will be offered in Lesson 5. I will grade this optional homework on a pass/fail basis. If you pass, I will also drop your second lowest homework grade when I average your homework grades. The extra-credit homework is due at the same time as the final exam. Exams: 50 percent of your final grade. The final will count as two midterms. Your lowest exam grade will be dropped, unless it is the final, in which case the final will count the same as a midterm. Participation in the discussion forums: 25 percent of your final grade. Contacting Your Instructor If you have any administrative questions, and/or science questions that you do not want to share with the rest of the group, feel free to me. I recommend that you use the function in Sakai so that a copy of your will automatically be saved in the Sakai site. Please include "CCO ASTR 102" in the subject line of any message you send me. Course Mechanics We recommend that you use the feature of Sakai for this course. There is an link in the left navigation bar. Select Compose a Message, select your recipient(s), click the CC box to send a copy of the message to recipients addresses (otherwise the message will be internal to the Sakai site), put CCO ASTR 102 in the Subject line, and compose your message. Then click Send. By using Sakai s , a copy of any messages you send will be automatically saved in the Sakai site. All communication from me will go to your UNC Onyen address. You can use your preferred program to access your UNC account, called HeelMail, by following the instructions on the About HeelMail page on UNC s Information and Technology Services Web site. Under Useful Links you will find a Help document called How to access HeelMail using your preferred program. Library Services and Resources Students enrolled in Carolina Courses Online have access to the UNC Library System. Visit Distance Education Library Services to access a wide array of online services and resources including e-reserves, online databases, online journals, online books, and live help with research and library access. Most online resources require you to log in with your Onyen and password. If you have any trouble finding the resource that you need or logging in to a resource, you can contact the library through the

5 contact information at Distance Education Library Services. You can chat live about your problem, or send an to request assistance. Academic Policies By enrolling as a student in this course, you agree to abide by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill policies related to the acceptable use of online resources. Please consult the Acceptable Use Policy on topics such as copyright, net-etiquette, and privacy protection. As part of this course, you may be asked to participate in online discussions or other online activities that may include personal information about you or other students in the course. Please be respectful of the rights and protection of other participants under the UNC-Chapel Hill Information Security Policies when participating in online classes. When using online resources offered by organizations not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill, such as Google or YouTube, please note that the terms and conditions of these companies and not the University s Terms and Conditions apply. These third parties may offer different degrees of privacy protection and access rights to online content. You should be well aware of this when posting content to sites not managed by UNC-Chapel Hill. When links to sites outside of the unc.edu domain are inserted in class discussions, please be mindful that clicking on sites not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill may pose a risk for your computer due to the possible presence of malware on such sites. Honor Code Remember that as a student of UNC-Chapel Hill, you are bound by the University s Honor Code, which states: It shall be the responsibility of every student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to obey and support the enforcement of the Honor Code, which prohibits lying, cheating, or stealing when these actions involve academic processes or University students or academic personnel acting in an official capacity. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden. Please read the items below and make sure you understand how to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism Tutorial, UNC Libraries Plagiarism, UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center Plagiarism and Citing Sources, UNC Health Sciences Library If you have any questions about the Honor Code, please contact me. The University of North Carolina Send comments and questions to

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