PRINCE GEORGE'S COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Department of Physical Science and Engineering
Welcome to Astronomy!
PSC 101 Introduction to Astronomy
Reference No. 4310
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Scott D. Johnson, Associate Professor, Engineering Coordinator, Physical Sciences and Engineering
OTHER LOCATIONS : CH-100 (Department) and Cyber Cafe
PHONE NUMBERS: 301-386-7536 (Office) or 301-322-0420 (Department Main Line)
E-MAIL ADDRESS : email@example.com
To facilitate e-mail communication with me, please include the following code: CCGP07 along with the course designation (PSC 101) in the subject of any e-mails to me during the Spring 2008 semester. The code stops legitimate e-mail messages from being evaluated wrongly as SPAM but does not allow e-mails that contain a virus or illegal attachment into our network.
Example: PSC101: Need help understanding the solar system: CCGP07
ENGINEERING PROGRAM'S WEB PAGE: http://academic.pgcc.edu/~sjohnson/engineering.html
PROFESSOR'S WEB PAGE: http://academic.pgcc.edu/~sjohnson
OFFICE HOURS: MW 7:15-9:15pm; TTh 2:30-3:30pm, by appointment all other times
This course is designed to give you a working knowledge of the vast and magnificent universe in which you live. It will be illustrative not only of the myriad of wonders that exist in the cosmos, but also of the scientific principles which govern nature. Only on a very few occasions will mathematics of any sort be used in this course.
COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Upon successful completion of the course a student will be able to
Analyze the scientific method and how it has been used in astronomy.
Evaluate historical development of models of the solar system and universe and the achievements which have led to our modern perception.
Appraise the tools and methods which astronomers use, and the ways in which astronomical information is obtained, including the nature and properties of light.
Compare and contrast worlds of the solar system, analyze and interpret the uniform processes that they undergo.
Discuss mechanisms of stellar astronomy, especially stellar evolution.
Describe aspects of galactic astronomy and the extrastellar environment.
Explain our current models of the birth and evolution of the universe and solar system.
Exploration: An Introduction to Astronomy 5th Edition. Arny, Thomas T. and Schneider, Stephen E. McGraw-Hill (2008).
OTHER REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS:
3 three-hole binders 1" or larger for the handouts on material not covered in the required textbook to be distributed in class throughout the semester. Folders are not acceptable.
Pens, Pencils, Eraser, Straight edge, Paper, and Calculator are required for every class.
OUTSIDE CLASS REQUIREMENTS:
As with any class an amount of time at least equivalent to two times the credit hours is expected to be performed for homework and labs. Please allot sufficient time for homework.
Homework will be assigned each week including the first week.
Evaluation of student performance is to be based on:
Out-of-class projects worth a total of 10% of your grade.
A set of quizzes that are worth a total of 30% of the grade.
Midterm Exam that is cumulative. This exam is worth 30% of the grade.
Final Exam that is cumulative stressing the second half of the semester. This exam is worth 30% of the grade.
HOW ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED
Homework is due at the start of class (or before) except for in-class projects.
Make-up homework, quizzes, and/or tests are up to the discretion of the teacher (excused absences only).
New topics are to be covered each week and include but are not limited to the following subjects. This outline is subject to change.
Week 1 Introduction to Astronomy
Week 2 The Nature of Light
Week 3 Using Light to measure distances; how do we do that?
Week 4 Atoms and Light
Week 5 A Touch of Astronomical History
Week 6 Telescopes
Week 7 Detectors
Week 8 Astronomical Techniques
Week 9 The Earth
Week 10 The Sun
Week 11 The Planets
Week 12 Stars
Week 13 Stellar Evolution
Week 14 Galaxies
Week 15 Cosmology
Reading assignments are as follows: Read the book. I will only go over the essentials; extra detail will be in the book.
Tests will be announced a week before and will depend on our progress in the classroom.
Food and drink in limited quantities (snacks, not meals) are permitted in restricted areas (not near electronics or computers) and will be revoked if proper cleanliness is found wanting.
Cell phones must be in vibrate mode and are only to be answered for emergencies (step outside please).
Common courtesy is to apply at all times.
Last day to apply for spring graduation
Friday, February 15
President's Day. COLLEGE CLOSED
Monday, February 18
Midterm - middle of semester; class will speed up
Wednesday, March 26
Spring break. COLLEGE CLOSED for the week.
Monday-Sunday, March 17 to March 23
Last day to withdraw from full-semester classes
Friday, April 18
Last Day of regular classes for the Spring Semester
Wednesday, May 7
Wednesday, May 14
The related lab to this course is PSC 102, there is no lab in this class.
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