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ASTR 1020R

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at
Credit Hours 1
Course Title Stellar And Galactic Astronomy Laboratory (Honors)
Prerequisite(s) Exit or exemption from Learning Support mathematics and exit or exemption from Learning Support reading or all ESL requirements except ENSL 0091 and acceptance into the Honors Program/College
Corequisite(s) ASTR 1020H
Catalog Description
This course includes the study of the Sun and stars, their physical properties and evolution, interstellar matter, star clusters, our galaxy and other galaxies, and the origin of the Universe.
This course is ASTR1020 for honors students.

Expected Educational Results
As a result of completing this course, the student will be able to:  
1. Identify the contributions made to astronomy by the following people: Einstein and Hubble;
2. Describe the properties and causes of the following: Black body curves, spectral lines, Doppler shift, electromagnetic spectrum;
3. Describe the structure, internal and atmospheric, and power source of the Sun and relate these to observed solar phenomena such as granulation, sunspots, and solar flares and prominences;
4. Understand and interpret the HR Diagram and its related properties: magnitude, luminosity, temperature, stellar radii, stellar power source, stellar evolution;
5. Compare the life cycles of low and high mass stars from birth to death.  Account for differing end states;
6. Describe the observations and structure of the Milky Way;  Locate the Sun within the Milky Way;
7. Classify the types of galaxies found in the universe (elliptical, spiral, barred spiral, irregular);
8. Describe the leading evolutionary models of the universe and evidence in support of those models;
9. Identify the planets based on their unique significant properties and describe those properties.

General Education Outcomes
This course has primary responsibility for general education outcome number six:
Recognize and apply scientific inquiry in a variety of settings.
It is intended that the course meet this objective in the following ways:
Any science class deals inherently with scientific inquiry, by the nature of the course.  This, therefore, will be an underlying theme throughout the course.
Coverage of the above specific objectives will give direct instruction toward the general objectives: 1, 4, 5, and 9.

Course Content
Students will write a research paper of at least five pages with a minimum of six citations and six different sources on an astronomical topic approved by the instructor. Students will present this paper as an oral report to the class.

I.  Introduction to and history of  Astronomy
A. Our place in space
B.   The motion of the Sun and stars
C. Celestial coordinates
D. Eclipses
E. The scientific method
F. Ancient Astronomy
G. The motion of the planets
H. The geocentric Universe
I. The heliocentric model of the solar system
J. Kepler's laws of planetary motion
K. Newton's Laws
II.  The Planets
A. The overall layout of the solar system
B. Planetary properties
C. Comparative planetology
D. The Earth and Moon in bulk
E. Lunar surface features
F. Earth's atmosphere
G. Interiors
H. Magnetospheres
I. Surface activity
J. Lunar cratering
K. Origin of the Moon
L.   Surfaces of Mercury, Venus and Mars
M. The Jovian planets in bulk
N. Jovian planet atmospheres
O. Jovian planet magnetospheres
P. Moons and rings
Q. Discovery of Pluto
R.. Pluto in bulk
III.  Interplanetary Debris
A.   Asteroids
B. Comets
C. Meteorites
D. Modeling the origin of the solar system

Assessment of Outcome Objectives
Assessment of Honors students will place an emphasis on high-level critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.
1. The final course grade will be determined by the course instructor.  The instructor may use (but is not limited to) some or all of the following areas: unit tests, quizzes, homework, or special projects.  A final exam is required and must constitute no less than 25% of the course grade.
2. The final exam is to be comprehensive in nature.  It shall contain questions requiring students to write answers on the basis of the above objectives.


This course will be assessed every five years.  During the assessment quarter, the final exam shall consist of objective-type multiple choice questions.  Construction of these questions will be the responsibility of a college-wide astronomy faculty committee. This committee will meet and review the course in the year prior to the assessment.  This review process will include re-evaluation of assessment instrument - the objective questions on the final exam, review of the quarterly departmental final exams, proposal and adoption of recommendations for curriculum modifications or changes, if necessary.

The results of the final exam questions will be summarized by the Department of Institutional Effectiveness.  The astronomy curriculum committee will meet to discuss the implications of the findings, and to make recommendations for the revision of the course where necessary.  A summary of this analysis along with a time table for implementation will be provided to the division dean.  A follow up report will indicate the success or failure on the implementation of the recommended changes.

Last Revised: Aug. 04, 2011
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