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Course Details

Fall 2015-2016
* AST 205 (STN)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Planets in the Universe

Gáspár Áron Bakos

This is an introductory course in astronomy focusing on planets in our Solar System, and around other stars (exoplanets). First we review the formation, evolution and properties of the Solar system. Following an introduction to stars, we then discuss the exciting new field of exoplanets; discovery methods, earth-like planets, and extraterrestrial life. Core values of the course are quantitative analysis and hands-on experience, including telescopic observations. This STN course is designed for the non-science major and has no prerequisites past high school algebra and geometry. See for important changes

Sample reading list:
Bennett, Donahue, The Cosmic Perspective, 7th Edition
Kasting, How to Find a Habitable Planet
Brown, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming
Perryman, The Exoplanet Handbook

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 42 pages per week. Six homework assignments through the semester

Mid Term Exam - 15%
Final Exam - 25%
Problem set(s) - 30%
Other (See Instructor) - 30%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
This course is intended for non-science majors; however, familiarity with high school algebra and geometry will be assumed. An introductory high school physics course will also be useful.

Other information:
Students will be involved in telescopic observations and astrophotography. Some of these will be during selected lectures (in the daytime, e.g.observing the Sun and Venus), and others will be in the evenings (e.g. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune). OTHER: group activities: observing. "Participation on at least one star party required for passing the course."


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20642 L01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm T Th   Peyton Hall   145   Enrolled:112 Limit:125