Astronomy 1140

Planets and the Solar System

Autumn Semester 2018

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:50-2:45 pm

McPherson Lab 1015

Course Instructor: Prof. Krzysztof (Kris) Stanek

Office: 4023 McPherson Lab (fourth floor), 140 W. 18th Ave.

The Final Exam will be on Wednesday, December 12th, 2:00 pm-3:45 pm, in McPherson Lab 1015 (the usual room).

On-Line Information

Course Syllabus

Textbook: starting in 2017, we have adopted a new, online-only, free textbook as a recommended (not required) text for our class:

Astronomy (PDF format)

- this is OpenStax initiative.

The Ohio State Planetarium

It might be quite useful to sign up for a OSU Planetarium show.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Highly recommended source of astronomical images and information, new one every day.

NASA Planetary Photojournal

(handy compilation of photos from NASA planetary missions)


For review purposes, I will be posting slides for each lecture, in the PDF (Portable Document Format) format. For some lectures, I will also provide links to other useful sources of information.

Week 1:

Wednesday, August 22, 2018: Course Introduction; Units and Scales [PDF]

The Scale of the Universe (interactive)

Astro-Physical Calculator

For your reading pleasure: What's So Special About Science (And How Much Should We Spend on It?)

Friday, August 24, 2018: Mapping the Earth and Sky and the Motions of the Sky [PDF]

Daily (Diurnal) Motions of Stars on the Equator

Circumpolar Stars from Columbus, Ohio

Proper Motion of Ursa Major (the Big Dipper)

Digital Movie Gallery by Prof. Pogge, with other useful animations

Week 2:

Monday, August 27, 2018: The Motion of the Sun [PDF]

Stellarium: free open source planetarium for your computer.

The Sun's Path along the Ecliptic through the Zodiac

Wednesday, August 29, 2018: Telling Time; The Motion of the Moon [PDF]

Lunation (movie of Moon Phases)

Friday, August 31, 2018: The Motion of the Moon; The Calendar [PDF]

Week 3:

Monday, September 3, 2018: Labor Day - no classes

Wednesday, September 5, 2018: The Four Seasons [PDF]

Four Seasons: Vivaldi

Friday, September 7, 2018: Eclipses [PDF]

Lunar Eclipse (animation)

Moon Shadow (animation)

2024 April 8 Total Solar Eclipse (animation)

Week 4:

Monday, September 10, 2018: Wandering Planets; Greek Astronomy [PDF]

Retrograde motion of Venus

Wednesday, September 12, 2018: Copernicus [PDF]

Ptolemaic & Copernican Solar System

Friday, September 14, 2018: Tycho, Kepler [PDF]

Week 5:

Monday, September 17, 2018: Galileo [PDF]

The Phases of Venus
Moons of Jupiter
Sunspots on the Rotating Sun
Feather and Ball Bearing Dropped in Vacuum
Feather & Hammer Drop on Moon

Wednesday, September 19, 2018: Newton [PDF]

Friday, September 21, 2018: Midterm #1 (see the study guide)

Week 6:

Monday, September 24, 2018: Newtonian Gravity [PDF]

Wednesday, September 26, 2018: Orbits; Tides [PDF]

Friday, September 28, 2018: Energy; Light [PDF]

Week 7:

Monday, October 1, 2018: Temperature [PDF]

Wednesday, October 3, 2018: Matter [PDF]

Friday, October 5, 2018: Light and Matter [PDF]

Week 8:

Monday, October 8, 2018: Telescopes [PDF]

Wednesday, October 10, 2018: Solar System: Overview; Age of the Earth [PDF]

Friday, October 12, 2018: Autumn Break - no classes

Week 9:

Monday, October 15, 2018: Earth's Interior [PDF]

Monday, October 17, 2018: Earth's Atmopshere [PDF]

Friday, October 19, 2018: Midterm #2 (see the study guide)

Week 10:

Monday, October 22, 2018: Impacts; The Moon [PDF]

Wednesday, October 24, 2018: Mercury [PDF]

Friday, October 26, 2018: Venus [PDF]

Week 11:

Monday, October 29, 2018: Mars; Terrestrial Planets Overview [PDF]

Wednesday, October 31, 2018: Jupiter; Saturn; Moons of Jupiter [PDF]

Friday, November 2, 2018: Moons of Saturn; Rings of Giants Planets [PDF]

Week 12:

Monday, November 5, 2018: Uranus, Neptune [PDF]

Wednesday, November 7, 2018: Pluto and the Kuiper Belt; Comets [PDF]

NASA website for the New Horizons Pluto/Kuiper Belt probe.

Friday, November 9, 2018: Asteroids [PDF]

NASA website for the Dawn Mission to asteroids Ceres and Vesta.

Week 13:

Monday, November 12, 2018: Veterans Day - no classes

Wednesday, November 14, 2018: Formation of the Solar System [PDF]

Friday, November 16, 2018: Midterm #3 (see the study guide)

Week 14:

Monday, November 19, 2018: Fate of the Solar System [PDF]

Wednesday, November 21, 2018: Thanksgiving Break - no classes

Friday, November 23, 2018: Thanksgiving Break - no classes

Week 15:

Monday, November 26, 2018: Extrasolar Planets Part I [PDF]

Wednesday, November 28, 2018: Extrasolar Planets Part II [PDF]

Friday, November 30, 2018: No class

Week 16:

Monday, December 3, 2018: Review

Wednesday, December 5, 2018: Review

Week 17:


The course grade will be determined from the results of three in-class midterms and the final exam. See the course syllabus for more details on exams and the makeup and grading policies.

Exam 1: Friday, September 21, 2018

(see the study guide) (see the Midterm 1 score distribution: median=66%)

Exam 2: Friday, October 19, 2018

(see the study guide) (see the Midterm 2 score distribution: median=74%)

Exam 3: Friday, November 16, 2018

(see the study guide) (see the Midterm 3 score distribution: median=72%)

Final Exam: Wednesday, December 12th, 2:00 pm-3:45 pm

(see the final exam study guide)

Return to: [ Astronomy Courses Page | Astronomy Department Homepage | Professor Stanek's Homepage ]
Updated Mon Dec 3 12:16:22 EST 2018