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Instructor: Professor Rogier A. Windhorst.

Location and Time: PSH-153; We. 6:40-9:30 pm. Since this is a double length class, we will take a 15 min break at 7:55 pm.

Office hours: 2:30-3:30 pm on Mondays and Thursdays, 5:00-6:00 pm on Wednesdays, all in room PSF-246. Messages can also be left in my mailbox in room PSF-470. Please ask the person at the front-desk to put it in my mailbox.

TA: Mr. Rui Cao. His office hours are: MWF 10:30-11:30 am in room PSH-350 (Tel. 965 0518). He will help with setup of the class audiovisual equipment and the telescopes on the roof of the PSF-wing that we will sometimes use after classtime. He can also help you with questions about lectures and exams. His Email is

Other Help: Help may also be obtained from the TA's that teach the AST-Labs during their office hours. Their office hours and rooms will be posted on the door of room PSH-563. I can also help you find a tutor, if needed.

Textbook: Astronomy, Journey to the Cosmic Frontier'', by John D. Fix, 3rd Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education Publishers; ISBN 0-07-283302-5 or 0-07-299697-8 with CD's). Older editions do not suffice. Available for about $ 94.25 (new) or $ 70.75 (used, if available) at the ASU Bookstore and other bookstores around campus. Check and for better deals. AST 111 covers chapters 1-15, parts of chapter 16.5 and 18.5, plus Appendices.

Syllabus: An outline for AST 111 is given in the attached syllabus. We will follow this schedule in principle, but some changes may be announced later. I strongly urge you to read the chapter of the book (on the day) before the corresponding lecture will be given.

Class Web Page: The Class Web Page will be at:

WARNING: This site is under development, and we may update it during the semester. The Web-version of this syllabus thus supersedes the printed version, although I will likely not change the exam dates. A printed list of relevant Web address is attached to the syllabus.

Lecture notes and voluntary reading: You are strongly advised to make your own notes. During my lectures, I will regularly give examples of what kind of questions may be asked at the exams. A PDF file of lecture notes from previous years made by Prof. Burstein is still available on: (read with Adobe Acroread).

These lecture notes have not been updated recently, and some of the material in these lecture notes is also beyond the scope of our class. The text-book is therefore your primary reference for this course. As voluntary outside reading, I suggest you take advantage of the following popular magazines: Scientific American, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, Mercury etc. These are on display in the Noble Science Library.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of elementary high school algebra and geometry is required, although I will briefly explain the relevant math in class. I will keep the use of formulae to a minimum, but expect you to learn not to be "scared" of simple math.

WWW pages relevant to AST 111/112: Since a stunning number of NASA images relevant to AST 111/112 has become available in the last few years, I will continue to teach with an overhead projector connected to a PC that can show real-time WWW pages. Please be patient with the sometimes rather slow Net-speed. The WWW pages relevant to AST 111/112 will be given to you on a separate hand-out, and are also posted on the class Web-site. Since I often receive over 100 Emails a day, I apologize that I cannot answer all Emails individually. But if you have a question, please come to my office hours, or ask questions in class after it starts, so that all can benefit.

Interaction: Despite the fact that this large lecture hall might be intimidating, I invite you to ask questions about the material. I like to have interaction with the class, and will give plenty opportunity to ask questions. The first few minutes after class starts am will be set aside for questions in particular. The 15 min immediately before and after class are strictly off-limits for questions, since I need this time to setup and store away the audiovisuals. My office hours are available if you need personal help. Please feel free to raise your hand during class-time if you have a question, and when I call your question, please speak up loudly, so that everyone can hear it.

Planetarium shows: You will benefit from attending one of the Planetarium shows in room PSB-350 (the building West of the PSF-wing). These are organized by Mr. Dan Matlaga (Room PSB-350, tel. 965-6891 or 3561). Planetarium attendance will yield 10 extra credit points, provided you give me your original attendance card that Mr. Matlaga issues during the Planetarium show before Oct. 31. You must write your name and ASU ID number on it this card. No extra credit will be given for the Planetarium show under any other conditions. (Social Security numbers are no longer used as ID numbers at ASU. Instead please use the Affiliate ID number on your ASU Suncard, which usually starts with 1000).

   Planetarium Shows for AST 111 Fall 2004:  

     1. September 14 12:00 noon

     2. September 15 9:40p.m. (after class)

     3. September 22 5:30p.m. (before class)

     4. September 27 11:40a.m.

     5. October 06  10:40a.m.

Exams: There will be three midterm exams, each consisting of 50 questions, and one final comprehensive exam of 100 questions. All questions are multiple choice with 4 or 5 alternatives, worth 1 point each. Midterms will be given on September 22, October 20, and November 17. These are held during the second lecture hour of 8:15-9:30 pm. Since the class only meets on 17 nights this semester, the schedule is tight, and so the first lecture hour during those exam nights will be used for regular instruction and for review of the lecture material.

These exams cover roughly the first, second, and third 25-30% of the material, respectively. For each midterm exam, you need to study between about 90 and 130 new pages of the book, as indicated in the syllabus. The final comprehensive exam is scheduled for Wednesday December 15, 6:40-9:30, and covers Chapters 1-15 plus 16.5 and 18.5. All exams will be held in this room (PSH-153) and are closed book. Just bring a sharp, soft (No. 2) pencil with eraser. Exam questions are based for about 65% on material in the book and for 35% on material discussed in my lectures. The exams require knowledge of all material from the chapters in the book as indicated in the syllabus, except for several sections pointed out during my lectures (a separate list of these will not be given). In addition, you need to study your own notes from all my lectures.

IMPORTANT: YOU MUST BRING YOUR VALID ASU PICTURE ID TO EACH EXAM. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN ZERO POINTS FOR THAT EXAM ! ASU requires me to verify your ASU Affiliate ID number on your Suncard before I can give you credit.

Grading: Your final grade will be determined from your total score over the exams, plus optional Planetarium show. It is allowed to drop your worst semester test, but NOT the final exam. No make-up tests will therefore be given. Absence from an exam will result in zero points for that exam, and may result in a final grade of D or E. The total possible score is 200 points (excluding a maximum of 10 extra credit points for the Planetarium show). Your final grade will be determined "on the curve". Usually, this means that about 10% of the students with the lowest scores (i.e., less than 80-100 points out of 200) will receive a D or an E. The true numbers depend on the final shape of the curve. The exams are graded by computer, and the results will be posted within a week on the bulletin board across from the elevators on the second floor of the PSF-wing. Please consult this bulletin board before asking us about your grade. Because it is illegal, I will not give any grades over the phone. I will not engage in negotiations about scores.

Cheating: If different exams of alternating color are given, you are not allowed to make the same color test as you neighbor. Doing so, or copying from neighbors, allowing others to copy, the presence of books/notes, talking, and any other suspicious behavior during the tests will all be considered cheating and result in an E for the course. No exceptions. Your wrong answers will be correlated by computer against those of everyone else, and students with exams suspiciously similar to those of who they were sitting close to will be investigated for cheating.

AST Labs: The labs that go with AST 111 and 112 are AST 113 and AST 114, respectively. Contact the instructor of these labs, who may be able to give some overrides if you need one. Some ASU Colleges require that you take Lab AST 113 only with Lecture AST 111, and Lab AST 114 only with Lecture AST 112. We will let you take Lab AST 113 with Lecture AST 112, or AST 114 with AST 111, as long as you keep the book used in the Lectures while you are doing the Lab. During my office hours, I can provide you with a supporting memo to this effect, should someone require our permission in writing. All questions re. the AST 113/114 Labs need to be directed to the Lab instructor, which is:

Name:    Will, Lisa                        Phone: (480)965-5732

Title:   Instructor                         Dept: Physics & Astronomy

Bldg:    PSF    Room:  417             Mail code: 1504


Overrides and Withdrawals: Please see me during my office hours in room PSF-246 if you need an override for this class, or if you want to withdraw before the withdrawal deadline.

Telescope Viewing after class: For those interested, I will try to arrange opportunities to view the skies through telescopes on the roof of the PSF or PSH building after class -- or in some cases when an important event is visible at the end of the regular class time. This will be especially useful for those students who could not get into an AST Lab. Since the regular technical personnel that sets-up the A/V equipment during the day is not available at night, I will need 15 minutes to store away all equipment right after class. Hence, telescope viewing will only work if I can get some help from a TA who will setup the telescopes on the roof before our class ends. We are working on arranging TA help, so please stand by for details. There will be no regular class credit for this telescope viewing, but I will consider extra credit for other work below.

Public Viewing Nights: Interested students may want to go to the ASU Public Viewing Nights. These are held during the last Friday of each month -- starting in August or September -- on the roof of the PSH-wing. This may be useful to those students who are not taking the AST Labs. You can also go to public viewing nights at the Kitt Peak National Observatories near Tucson (to make a reservation, call 1 520 318 8000 or 8600). There is no extra credit for these activities..

Extra Credit or Honor's Credit: I will consider extra credit or honor's credit for special class projects, often by Honor's College students. In the past, these have been usually related in some way to the ``Great Debate on ET'' in the last week of classes.


      SYLLABUS  ---  INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY I  ---  AST 111 ---  Fall 2004 

Lect                                                                      Book
No.    Date     Planned topics (Tentative!)                             Chapters
01  We Aug. 25  Introduction of the course                                  1
                The scientific method. Astronomy as a science               1
                Review of the Cosmos. Size scales in the Universe           1
                The celestial sphere and coordinate systems                 1
02  We Aug. 25  Daily motions in the sky. Motion of the Sun                 2
                The motions and phases of the Moon                          2
                Motions of the Planets.                                     2
                The origin of the seasons. Precession                       2
                Astronomical time and calendars                             2
03  We Sep. 01  Ancient astronomy. Constellations                           3
                Early Greek Astronomy                                       3
                Late Greek Astronomy: How it was found the Earth is round   3
                A brief history of other astronomical observations          3
                Eclipses of the Moon and the Sun                            3

04  We Sep. 01  Astronomy after Ptolemy. Renaissance astronomy              4
                Copernicus' heliocentric world model                        4

05  We Sep. 08  Tycho Brahe's observations of the solar system              4
                Kepler the theoretician and his three laws                  4

06  We Sep. 08  Galileo and the first telescope                             4
                Galileo's and Kepler's work before Newton                   5

07  We Sep. 15  Newton's three laws of Mechanics                            5
                The universal law of gravity. Mass and weight               5

08  We Sep. 15  Concepts of mechanics: mass, density, angular momentum      5
                Orbits of planets, satellites, interplanetary spacecraft    5
                Origin of the tides. Consequences of tidal interaction      5

09  We Sep. 22  REVIEW FOR FIRST EXAM                                     1-5
                The finite speed of light. Light as waves and particles     6
                The Doppler effect of sound and light                       6

10  We Sep. 22  FIRST EXAM    (pg. 1-128 + 137-140= 132 new pages)        1-5

11  We Sep. 29  DISCUSSION OF FIRST EXAM                                  1-5
                The observable electromagnetic spectrum. Temperature        6+7.3

12  We Sep. 29  The law of Wien and colors of the stars                     7.3
                The laws of Planck and Stefan-Boltzmann                     7.3
                Introduction to optics: Reflection and refraction           6

13  We Oct. 06  Breeds of optical telescopes; telescope mounts              6
                Optical cameras, spectrographs and detectors                6
                Major optical observatories; atmospheric limitations        6
                Space Observatories: IR, Optical, UV, X-ray, gamma-ray      6
                The future of ground-based and space-astronomy              6
                Radio astronomy and interferometry                          6

14  We Oct. 06  Chemistry of the solar system. Cosmic abundance             7
                Nuclear reactions and radioactivity                         7
                Atoms and ions. Sub-atomic particles. Spectrum of Hydrogen  7+16.5
                Kirchoff's laws of spectroscopy                             16.5
                Structure and basic building blocks of the solar system     7
                Internal heat in planets                                    7
                Formation of the Sun and the giant planets. Cosmogony       7

15  We Oct. 13  The Earth's rotation and revolution                         8
                The Earth as a planet: surface, rocks and minerals          8
                The Earth's interior, mantle, and crust. Geology            8
                Continental drift; faults; volcano's; earthquakes           8
                Our atmosphere and magnetosphere; van Allen belts           8
                The chemical evolution of our planet                        8
                Life on Earth and elsewhere (?)                             8

16  We Oct. 13  The Moon. Revolution, Rotation, Phases and Eclipses         9
                The Moon. A study of its surface. Tides                     9
                Geology of the lunar surface; impact craters                9
                Missions to the Moon. Moon rocks                            9
                Chemical composition of the Moon. Interior. Atmosphere?     9
                The origin of our Moon                                      9

17  We Oct. 20  The Moon-like planet Mercury. Missions to Mercury           10
                Radio and radar observations. Interior and magnetosphere    10
                Venus. Exploration of its surface. Magellan radar maps      10
                The mystery of retrograde rotation. Its revolution          10
                Venus' cloudy atmosphere. Active volcano's                  10
                Venus Interior. Evolution of Venus                          10
                The run-away greenhouse effect: the Greenhouse Inferno      10

18  We Oct. 20  The planet Mars. Martian geology                            11
                Exploration of the Martian surface. Viking Landers          11
                Volcano's on Mars; craters, canyons, plains, rivers         11
                The polar caps and atmosphere of Mars; its climate          11
                The Mars Pathfinder and other recent Mars Missions          11
                Recent Mars Rovers. The interior and evolution of Mars      11
                Life on Mars? Life possible on other planets?               11
                The evolution of terrestrial planets.                       11
                REVIEW FOR SECOND EXAM                                    6-11+16.5

19  We Oct. 27  1st HOUR: SECOND EXAM (pg. 130-262 + 378-381=133 new pg.) 6-11+16.5

20  We Oct. 27  Observe a real Lunar Eclipse on roof of PSF-F wing          10

21  We Nov. 03  DISCUSSION OF SECOND EXAM                                 6-11+16.5
                The Giant planets                                           12
                General properties, orbits, rotation of the outer planets   12
                Chemical composition, atmospheres, internal heat sources    12
                The giant planet Jupiter                                    12
                Observations of and missions to Jupiter. Galileo            12
                Jupiter's atmosphere and magnetosphere. The perfect storm   12

22  We Nov. 03  Observations of and missions to Saturn. Recent Cassini pics 12
                The planet Saturn. Internal heat source                     12
                Saturn's atmosphere and magnetosphere. Big bad storms       12
                The physics of planetary ring systems. The Roche limit      12
                The outer planets. Rotation and magnetospheres              13
                The planet Uranus. Voyager encounter of Uranus              13
                Uranus' magnetic field. Retrograde rotation                 13
                The planet Neptune. Voyager encounter of Neptune            13

23  We Nov. 10  Data on Pluto. History                                      13
                Pluto and Charon                                            13
                Kinds of planetary satellites                               14
                General properties of planetary satellites                  14
                The two Martian moons                                       14
                Giant planet satellites. Formation of Galilean satellites   14

24 We. Nov. 10  Observations of Jupiter's satellites. Flyby's               14
                Satellites, volcano's, and rings. Io                        14
                The nature of large and small satellites                    14
                Saturn's icy moons                                          14
                Titan and its atmosphere                                    14
                Uranus' moons and rings                                     14
                Neptune's moons and rings. Triton                           14

25  We Nov. 17  Meteoroids, Meteorites, and Meteors                         15
                What are meteoroids? What is a meteor? Meteor showers       15
                Interplanetary dust; the zodiacal light                     15
                Meteorites, a gift from heaven; composition; ages           15
                Exploring the asteroid belt; orbits; collisions             15
                Greeks and Trojans around Jupiter. Lagrangian points        15
                Sizes and composition of asteroids                          15
                Orbits and Collisions. Earth approaching asteroids          15
                REVIEW FOR THIRD EXAM                                    12-15.3

26  We Nov. 17  THIRD EXAM (pg. 264-354 = 91 new pages)                  12-15.3

27  We Nov. 24  DISCUSSION OF THIRD EXAM                                 12-15.3
                Comets. The physics of comets                               15
                Nucleus; atmosphere; tails                                  15
                Origin and evolution of comets.                             15
                The SL-9 impact. Who killed the dinosaurs?                  15
                Are we heading for Doomsday?                                15


29  We Dec. 01  The formation/evolution of stars and planetary systems      18.5
                Recent discoveries of planets around nearby stars           18.5
                The origin of life                                          27
                The search for life in the Solar System                     27
                Review of physical laws relevant to Life in the Universe   1-15,18.5
30  We Dec. 01  The Great Debate on "Life in the Universe?" (public forum) 1-15,18.5
                Technical feasibility of interstellar space travel         1-15,18.5
                The Drake equation: Are we alone?                           27
                Where is ET? (How) Do we prepare for an encounter?          27
                Interstellar communication. Main lesson from class          27
31  We Dec. 08  REVIEW OF ALL LECTURE MATERIAL (voluntary session)    1-15,16.5,18.5

32  We Dec. 15  FINAL COMPREHENSIVE EXAM at 6:40-9:30pm in PSH-153    1-15,16.5,18.5
                (pg. 1-368 + 378-381 + 431-436 = 378 total; 22 new pages) 
                Includes Ch. 1-15 + 16.5 + 18.5 + all lecture material (NOT Ch. 27).           
    Mo Dec. 20  Final grades posted on PSF-2nd floor across from elevators  


        WWW addresses used in AST 111 / AST 112 (Windhorst)

       (List under development, please bear with us)

(This list):
(NASA Trips through SS):
(Nice page for all SS bodies)
(Latest Mars Pathfinder):
(General Mars pages):
(General comet page):
(Shoemaker-Levy 9):
(First Exo-planet found):
(Lunar Eclipse Oct 27):
(NASA HQ home page):
(All NASA missions):
(General Space Science News):
(NASA Human Space Flights):
(Launch calendar):
(Intl' Space Station):
(NASA Educational Site):
(A Web page for children):
(Satellite Weather images):
(General Astronomy topics):
(Doomsday Asteroid Quiz):
(Astro Picture Of the Day):
(Faint Blue Galaxy Mystery):
(Galaxy Building Blocks):
(Ultraviolet Galaxies):
(End of the Dark Ages):
(Dawn of Galaxy Formation):
(Space Telescope Science Institute):
(Space Telescope Science Institute):
(Best of Hubble Space Telescope):
(Detailed list of Hubble images):
(Trip through Universe):
(Sky and Telescope site):
(Astron. Soc. Pacific materials):
(Hubble Press releases occur every week, so list below is not updated!)
(Hubble Space Telescope images relevant to AST 111 can be found on):
(Hubble Space Telescope images relevant to AST 112 can be found on):
(Back to top of this list): ================================================================================

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Rogier A Windhorst 2004-08-18