Astronomy 141
Life in the Universe
Prof. Scott Gaudi

Copyright Statement

All of the written material and some of the graphics (static images and animations) on these pages are copyrighted by either Prof. Scott Gaudi or Prof. Richard Pogge unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without written permission.

Educational or non-profit organizations wishing to reproduce or provide links to any part of these pages must contact Prof. Scott Gaudi ( in writing. Please see the Usage Guidelines below for specific information.

Usage Guidelines

These web pages are intended primarily for use by Ohio State University students enrolled in Astronomy 141 during Spring Quarter 2007. Students formally enrolled in this course are granted permission to make copies of the online notes in unaltered form for exclusive personal use only, provided that all copyright notices and citations of images and text sources remain intact. "Personal Use", however, does not extend to additional reproduction, alteration, distribution, or resale of these notes in any form to anybody. Your use of these web pages implies that you agree with and will respect these conditions of use.

All other interested persons who are not enrolled in this course at The Ohio State University are welcome to browse these pages, provided that they observe the following usage restrictions:

  1. Educators, educational organizations, or registered non-profit organizations may link to these pages from their websites, provided they contact the author, Prof. Scott Gaudi (gaudi.1 [at], so that I have a record of who is using this material outside of The Ohio State University.

  2. You may not reproduce, distribute, or resell any of the materials on these pages in any form, nor may you charge others to gain access to these pages. In particular, you are specifically prohibited from including any of the written material or graphics, in whole or in part, in course note or lecture note packages compiled with the intention of reselling them to students enrolled in this or related courses at this or other educational institutions. This includes providing copies of these notes, in whole or in part, to electronic note-taking services.

  3. Citations of factual material in these pages should be to the original sources. Please contact the author of these pages for information on the correct citation of particular materials, or if you see incorrect citations so that the author may correct these errors.

A Brief Note About Copyrights

The precise relationship between existing copyright laws and publically accessible electronic documents on the Internet is a subject of considerable discussion and debate. Copyrights are an essential protection for teachers and students alike, as they play a fundamental role in helping to preserve the integrity of our intellectual activities (writing, images, etc.) by protecting our creative works from commercial exploitation by others. I take the issue of copyrights very seriously in the production of these web pages.

If you notice any inappropriately used or incorrectly cited text or images, please contact me so that I can either seek the proper use permissions or delete them from these pages (providing substitutions where possible).

Text Sources
I have made a good faith effort to be very careful about not including copyrighted text (other than my own) in these pages, except where I have sought specific permission from the original authors. I would appreciate help correcting any erroneous citations to primary sources you might spot in these pages.

Images are essential to teaching astronomy, and present a wide range of copyright issues in the context of the Internet. Since copyright law with regards to electronic graphics is still being developed, I have little guidance except common sense. As such, I use primarily public domain images on these pages, taking care to correctly cite the original sources, and have sought permission for other images (e.g., I have an agreement with the Anglo-Australian Observatory for use of some of their copyrighted images on these pages).

Some of the images and graphics displayed during my lectures are copyrighted materials unavailable in the public domain. While use of these images in lecture is permitted under the well-established principle of "Fair Use", that same principle prohibits me from posting these same images to the Web without the explicit permission of the owner of their copyright. I am seeking permission from the original sources to post some of the graphics on these pages, but not all persons have granted that permission. For example, the publishers of the textbook have provided me with electronic copies of most of the graphics from the book which I may include in my lectures, but they do not grant me permission to post them on the class webpages. This can be somewhat inconvenient for the students, as a number of the images and graphics used in lecture are not otherwise available online, but it is unavoidable.

An exciting feature of electronic presentation is the ability to set some images into motion. In astronomy we often deal with dynamic phenomena: rotation, orbital motion, explosions, tidal encounters & collisions, etc., and static pictures do not convey the concepts as clearly as animations. We are beginning to create our own animations for these classes, and are putting them onto the web pages for the students to view (and play with) after class to help cement the ideas. All OSU-created animations are copyrighted and subject to the same restrictions noted above.

Some of the animations shown in class were created by others. In these cases, I have put in links to the original webpages from which I got them, or am seeking permission from the creators to make local copies available to try to help with the download time for my students. In all cases, these local copies are accompanied by links to the original sources, and you should always consult with the creators to seek permission to use them.

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Updated: 2008 September 21