Syllabus

 

1/21                 Overview of our Place in the Universe                                                       BSNV Chap. 1

 

I. The Sky and Celestial Motions                                                                                        

 

1/26                 The Sky; The Motions of the Stars and Moon                                           BSNV Chap. 2.1-2.5

1/28                 The Motions of the Sun; Eclipses                                                              BSNV Chap. 2.6

2/2                   The Motions of the Planets                                                                       Begin (extensive!) readings in Bless

 

II. Historical Foundations

 

2/4                   Earliest Ideas                                                                                            Bless, Chaps. 3-4; BNSV 56-70

2/9                   Alexandrian School                                                                                   Bless, Chaps. 5-6

2/11                 Copernicus, Brahe, and Kepler                                                                 Bless, pp. 105-127; BNSV 70-73

2/16                 Galileo and the Birth of Modern Astronomy                                               Bless, pp. 128-139; BNSV 74-83

 

III. Newton and Gravity

 

2/18                 The Laws of Motion                                                                                   Bless, pp. 142-150; BNSV 129-138

2/23                 The Newtonian Law of Gravity                                                                   Bless, pp. 150-166; BNSV 138-147

2/25                 “… all was light!”

 

3/1                  6-Week Exam    (7:15 pm, 3425 Sterling Hall)

 

IV. Astronautics

 

3/1                   Rockets

3/3                   Travel Through the Solar System

 

V. The Nature of Light

 

3/8                   The Nature of Light                                                                                        BSNV pp. 153-158

3/10                 The Origin of Light                                                                                          BSNV pp. 158-168

3/22                 Telescopes                                                                                                      BSNV Chap. 7

 

VI. The Sun

 

3/24                 Overview of the Solar System                                                                         BSNV Chap. 8

3/29                 Formation of the Solar System                                                                        BSNV Chap. 9

3/31                 From Nuclear Fusion to Sunlight                                                                    BSNV Chap 15

4/5                   The Sun’s “Surface” and Space Weather

 

VII. The Planets and Companions

 

4/7                   Terrestrial Planets – Geology                                                                         BSNV Chap. 10

4/12                 Terrestrial Planets –Atmospheres                                                                   BSNV Chap. 11

 

4/12                12-Week Exam    (7:15 pm, 3425 Sterling Hall)

 

4/14                 Terrestrial Planets – Evolution

4/19                 Jovian Planets                                                                                               BSNV Chap. 12.1-12.4

4/21                 Jovian Satellites and Rings                                                                            BSNV Chap. 12.5-12.6

4/26                 Vagabonds of the Solar System                                                                    BSNV Chap. 13

4/28                 Beyond our Solar System – Exoplanets                                                        BSNV 9.6

 

VIII. Return to Earth and the Origin of Our Life

 

5/3                   What Makes the Earth special?                                                                     BSNV Chap. 14

5/5                   The Origin of Life

 

 

 

 

5/9                 Final Exam                12:25 pm

 

 

 

 

“BSNV” = Bennett, Donahue, Schneider and Voit, The Solar System: The Cosmic Perspective

 

“Bless”  =  Bless, Discovering the Cosmos  (copy)