Nature of the course: This is a descriptive survey of astronomy
from the Sun and planets to the outer galaxies. The course makes
minimal use of mathematics but does require reasoning and some
calculation. The associated labs provide experience in making
measurements and working with some real astronomical data.
Exam Dates: No book or notes.
Test 1 - 10 February 1999 in class
Test 2 - 3 March 1999 in class
Test 3 - 7 April 1999 in class
Test 4 - 23 April 1999 in class
Test 5 - 30 April 1999 in class (Make-up for missed tests)
Final exam - Saturday 8 May 1999, 11:30am-2:30pm in
123 Fondren Science
Make-up Exams: The make-up test (Test #5) is optional. If taken,
the lowest of the 5 test scores will be dropped. This test must be
taken if you have missed any of the other 4 tests, as make-ups for the
individual tests are not given. Test #5 covers the whole course
in the same way as the final exam will but is shorter so it will fit in
one class period. If you are not happy with your average for the first
four tests, test #5 is a no-lose proposition. If you take it and
score lower than on the other tests, the score on #5 is dropped and you
lose nothing. You at least get the practice for the final. If your score
on #5 is better than your lowest regular test score, that lowest score is
No make-up will be given for the final exam.
Laboratory: You must register for one of the laboratory sections
N10 - Monday 1:00-2:50pm in 25 Fondren Science (Cotton)
N11 - Monday 3:00-4:50pm in 25 Fondren Science (Cotton)
N12 - Monday 5:00-6:50pm in 25 Fondren Science
It is expected that you will read the lab assignment before coming to
the lab. If you do not do this, you will waste a lot of time trying to catch
up, as we will not allow time for careful reading of it in lab.
If you miss a lab without notifying the instructor, it cannot be made up later.
If you know in advance that you must miss a lab, consult the instructor. Only
labs 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11 can reliably be made up later if missed.
Homework: Homework assignments will be mostly printed problem sets
handed out in class. If you miss the class when a set is handed out, it is
your responsibility to obtain a copy. The due date will be announced in class.
Homework sets will be graded and returned as fast as possible. Assignments
received late, between the due date and the return date, will be devalued 50%.
Late assignments will not be accepted after the set has been graded and
Observing: We will go out to the observatory and use the telescopes
at least once (and more if possible) during the semester. These sessions are
obviously dependent on the weather, so their times will be announced in class.
Observing session times are usually just after dark. Be sure that you do get
to an observing session as soon as possible; potential cloudy weather makes
putting it off rather risky. NOTE: Bring your lab book to the observing
session - you will need the printed observing data page in the back to record
your observations. All observing exercises are to be turned in at the
observatory, before you leave.
Tests 10% each (4 grades)
Other things: If you have any problems or learning difficulties
that might affect your work in this course, please contact the instructor
as soon as possible.
Remember: If you are confused about something in the course, the
only dumb question is the one you don't ask.