All class topics, reading, activities, and graded assignments will be listed here. I promise to give you two weeks notice on major changes, and to provide assignments two weeks before they are due. You promise to check this page frequently, because it will change and be updated with time.

Here is a description of my overall method for assigning grades to labs and homework assignments.

Week 1 Sept 5, 7

Topics
What is Science?
Where, when, and how big are we?

Reading
Cosmos Chapters 1, 7 (pg. 133 - 135; pg. 155 - 160. The historical context in the middle of the chapter is interesting, but optional to read), and 8 (although relativity, space travel, and planets will be explicitly discussed later in the course).

Activities
Friday September 7 - Solar System walk during class (weather permitting)

Assignments Due
None

Week 2, September 10, 12, 14:

Topics
Where, when and how big are we?
Measurement and uncertainty
How do I know I'm not the center of the universe?

Reading
Cosmos Chapters 1, 3, 7 (pg. 133 - 135; pg. 155 - 160. The historical context in the middle of the chapter is interesting, but optional to read), and 8 (although relativity, space travel, and planets will be explicitly discussed later in the course).
Document on Error Analysis from the Penn physics and astronomy undergraduate lab manual.

Activities
Monday September 10 - Optional math orientation session, 10 - 11 am, Strawbridge Observatory. TOPIC: Just the basics
Thursday September 13, Mandatory night time telescope observing, 30 minute session between 9 - 11 pm.
Friday September 14 - Optional help clinic for Angles lab in the Observatory classroom, 9 - 11 am open hours (come any time).

Assignments Due
None

Week 3, September 17, 19, 21:

Topics
How do I know I'm not the center of the universe?

Reading
Cosmos, Chapter 3
Starry Messenger essay, written by Galileo. Read before September 19 - we will discuss this reading in groups in class on either Wednesday or Friday.
Document on Error Analysis from the Penn physics and astronomy undergraduate lab manual.

Activities
Sunday September 16, 8 pm - 9:30 pm in Observatory, optional help clinic for Angles lab.

Assignments Due
Friday September 21 - Angles lab. Solutions for the Angles Lab.

Week 4, September 24, 26, 28:

Topics
Are we alone?

Reading
Cosmos, Chapter 10 and 11. Cosmos, Chapters 9 (optional).
Strange New Worlds, Chapters 1, 3-5, 7-8.

Activities
Wednesday September 26 - Visit to Special Collections during class
Mandatory night time naked eye observing, 40 minute session (weather permitting)

Assignments Due Friday September 28 - HW 1 due. Solutions for the HW 1.

Week 5, October 1, 3, 5:

Topics
Are we alone?
Why should I believe anything astronomers say?

Reading
Cosmos, Chapter 10 and 11. Cosmos, Chapters 9 (optional).
Strange New Worlds, Chapters 1, 3-5, 7-8.

Activities
Thursday October 4 - Mandatory planetarium show, 40 minute show sometime between 6:15 pm and 10 pm. Optional - Stop by public observing in Strawbridge Observatory between 8:30 and 9:45 pm.

Assignments Due
None.

Week 6, October 8, 10, 12:

Topics
Why should I believe anything astronomers say?

Reading
No new reading. Be sure you're caught up on past reading.

Activities
Friday October 12 - In class demos: spectral gas tubes and muon chamber.

Assignments Due
Monday October 8 - Response to (naked eye and/or public telescope) observing + planetarium show due. One page or less. Please type.
Friday October 12 - HW 2 due. Solutions for the HW 2.

Week 7, October 22, 24, 26:

Topics
Hubble Space Telescope

Reading
Visual and Statistical Thinking pamphlet by Edward Tufte. Will discuss during class on October 31.

Activities
Friday October 26 - In class visit by David Gaynes (filmmaker) and Nitya Kallivayalil (Yale). Come to class prepared with one (or more) question(s) written down.

Assignments Due
Thursday October 25 - Mandatory attendance of Saving Hubble screening and discussion, 7 pm - 9 pm Stokes auditorium.

Week 8 - October 29, 31, November 2:

Topics
Hubble Space Telescope, data visualization.

What do we pay for astronomy? What do we get for it? How has astronomy and space exploration contributed to society outside of science? Is it worth it?

Reading
Visual and Statistical Thinking pamphlet by Edward Tufte. Will discuss during class on October 31. Here is a list of discussion questions.

Why is exploring space important?
AO for the eyeball
US astronomy budget
Using astronomical imaging techniques to detect breast cancer

Activities
Monday October 29 - Class meets in ITC in Stokes 205 for podcast recording session. Instructions for this assignment.
Friday November 2 - John Bochanski teaching

Assignments Due
Friday November 2 - HW 3 due. Solutions.

Week 9 - November 5, 7, 9:

Topics
Astronomy and society.
How do we measure the properties of stars?

Reading
Stardust, Chapters 3 and 4. Introduction, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are optional.

Activities
John Bochanski teaching all week. Blackbody radiation and HR diagram worksheets.

Assignments Due
Monday November 5 - Midterm handed out in class. Here is the equation sheet. Here is an outline of the class topics covered prior to the midterm.
Friday November 9 - Midterm Due at the beginning of your class.

Week 10, November 12, 14, 16:

Topics
What is a star?
Why does the Sun shine?

Reading
Stardust, Chapters 5-8.

Activities
None planned

Assignments Due
Podcast due.

Week 11 - November 19, class cancelled on the 21:

Topics
Where do the elements in my body come from?

Reading
Stardust, Chapters 5-8.

Activities
Monday November 19 - Discussion of element production in the universe.

Assignments Due
None

Week 12 - November 26, 28, 30:

Topics
Do black holes suck?
How might the universe kill me?
What is a galaxy?

Reading
NASA blog post about black holes

Activities
None planned

Assignments Due
Friday November 30 - HW 4 due. Solutions.

Week 13 - December 3, 5, 7:

Topics
Galaxies in the universe. Expansion of the universe.

Reading
None

Activities
Monday Dec 3 - Begin Hubble lab in class.

Assignments Due
Friday December 7 - Hubble Lab due.

Week 14 - December 10, 12, 14:

Topics
Dark matter. What is a galaxy?

Reading
NASA blog post about the definition of a galaxy.

Activities
None planned.

Assignments Due
Friday December 14 - HW 5 due. The final exam is next week. Here is the equation sheet. Here is an outline of the class topics covered after the midterm.