Astronomy 161

Introduction to Solar System Astronomy

Winter Quarter 2007

MWF 10:00 - 11:18am

0100 Stillman

Instructor: Prof. D. L. DePoy
Office: 4059 McPherson Lab (fourth floor), 140 W. 18th Ave.
Office Hours: MTWTh 8-10am, T 2-5pm, Th 2-3pm, or by appointment
Phone: 292-7891

TA: K. Schlesinger
Office: 4020 McPherson Lab, 140 W. 18th Ave.
Office Hours:T 3-4:30pm, W 1:30-3pm
Phone: 292-3433

Required Text:
Universe (seventh edition), by Roger A. Freedman & William J. Kaufmann III (W. H. Freeman & Co., New York, 2005 [sic]) ISBN 0-7167-8694-X

Exams & Grading


There will be three in-class exams and a final exam. In-class exams will cover the material in the lectures and readings since the previous exam; the final examination will be comprehensive. The in-class exams have been scheduled for the three days listed below. Please mark your calendars with these dates. All exams will be closed-book, closed-notes, multiple-choice tests.

Grading Policy

The in-class exams will each contribute 25% of your course grade (for a total of 75%); the final exam will contribute 25%.

Makeup Policy

Makeup exams will be given only under extraordinary circumstances, such as severe illness or a death in the immediate family. Makeup exams will not be multiple choice tests. If you know in advance that you will be missing a exam, please contact the professor to arrange an alternate time for you to take the exam.

The final must be taken by all students. If you miss the final, you will automatically receive a grade of incomplete (I) that will have to be made up by a written exam during winter quarter.

Final Exam

Tuesday, March 13, 9:30 am - 11:18 pm

The final examination is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, from 9:30am until 11:18pm in SH 0100 (the same room as lectures). The final will be comprehensive, covering all lectures and assigned readings, and of the same format as the in-class exams (only longer). It is worth 25% of the final grade. No makeup final will be offered.

Lecture & Reading Schedule (will be extended as the year progresses)

Week 1:
Wednesday, Jan 3: Introduction (Chapter 1)
Friday, Jan 5: Celestial Sphere (Sections 2-1 through 2-4)

Week 2:
Monday, Jan 8: Seasons & Calendars (Sections 2-5 through 2-8)
Wednesday, Jan 10: Moon Phases & Eclipses (Chapter 3)
Friday, Jan 12: Ptolemy to Copernicus (Sections 4-1 & 4-2)

Week 3:
Monday, Jan 15: No Class
Wednesday, Jan 17: Tycho, Kepler, & Galileo (Sections 4-3 through 4-5)
Friday, Jan 19: EXAM 1

Week 4:
Monday, Jan 22: Newton's Laws (Sections 4-6 & 4-7)
Wednesday, Jan 24: Exam #1 Review
Friday, Jan 26: Applying Newton's Laws (Section 4-8)

Week 5:
Monday, Jan 29: Light (Sections 5-1 through 5-4)
Wednesday, Jan 31: Spectra (Sections 5-5 through 5-9)
Friday, Feb 2: Telescopes (Chapter 6)

Week 6:
Monday, Feb 5: Solar System Survey (Chapter 7)
Wednesday, Feb 7: Origin of the Solar System (Sections 8-1 through 8-5)
Friday, Feb 9: EXAM 2

Week 7:
Monday, Feb 12: The Earth (Sections 9-1 through 9-4)
Wednesday, Feb 14: Earth's Atmosphere (Sections 9-5 through 9-7)
Friday, Feb 16: The Moon (Chapter 10)

Week 8:
Monday, Feb 19: Mercury (Chapter 11)
Wednesday, Feb 21: Venus (Chapter 12)
Friday, Feb 23: Mars (Chapter 13)

Week 9:
Monday, Feb 26: Jupiter & Saturn (Chapter 14)
Wednesday, Feb 28: Moons of Jupiter & Saturn (Chapter 15)
Friday, Mar 2: EXAM 3

Week 10:
Monday, Mar 5: Uranus & Neptune (Sections 16-1 through 16-8)
Wednesday, Mar 7: Pluto, Eris...and Beyond (Section 16-9)
Friday, Mar 9: Asteroids & Comets (Sections 17-1 through 17-9)

Exam Schedule

In-class Exam 1: Friday, January 19, in class
In-class Exam 2: Friday, February 9, in class
In-class Exam 3: Friday, March 2, in class
Final Exam: Tuesday, March 13, 9:30am - 11:18pm, SH 0100

Students with Disabilities

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Professor to discuss their specific needs. We will work with the Office of Disability Services to develop the appropriate strategies. Students with disabilities who have not previously contacted ODS are encouraged to do so in advance by visiting the ODS website and requesting an appointment.

Academic Misconduct

All OSU instructors are required to report suspected cases of academic misconduct to the Committee on Academic Misconduct. See the University's Code of Student Conduct for details. The most common forms of misconduct in classes like this are copying from another student's exam or homework assignment. All cases will be investigated following University guidelines.

Classroom Etiquette

To help establish and maintain a courteous, distraction-free learning environment in our classroom, I ask that all students please observe the following rules of behavior during lectures and exams:
Use of cell phones and pagers is prohibited.
This includes using cell phones for instant messaging, email, web, pictures, etc. When in class, all cell phones and pagers must be turned off (do not simply put them into stand-by "silent ring" modes).

Use of Wireless Laptops or other networked devices is prohibited.
Surfing the web, instant messaging, reading email or typing on a keyboard during class is extremely distracting to those around you. When in class, all laptop computers and other networked devices (especially devices like PDAs and Blackberries that can be used for 2-way communications, email, IM, etc.) must be turned off and put away. Exceptions will be made for assistive technologies for the vision- or hearing-impaired in consultation with the professor.

Please do not start packing up until class is completely over.
Nothing is more rude or distracting than the noise of notebooks closing and jackets and backpacks rustling while the professor is trying to finish up. I'll be very clear when we're done and work very hard to stay on time, so please wait until I get to the end.

If you come late or have to leave early, please sit near the back of the room.
This will make your late arrival or early departure less disruptive for your fellow students. Also, please avoid using the side doors in Stillman 100 as they open outside into the directions of the prevailing winds, and it can be COLD out there.

No conversing during lectures.
A curious feature of a round room like Stillman 100 is that the sounds of a conversation at the back of the room get reflected around and are audible to the professor and most of the front row. Please respect the wishes of your fellow students to listen to the lecture and do not carry on conversations during class.
A little courtesy and common sense can go a long way. Thank you for your cooperation.

GEC Goals and Objectives

Astronomy 161 is a General Education Curriculum (GEC) Physical Science course in the Natural Science category. The goals for this course include: Learning Objectives:

In Astronomy 161, the specific learning objectives to achieve these course goals are:

Return to: [ Astronomy 161 Main Page | Astronomy Department home page ]
Updated: Mon Jan 1 2007