PHYSICS 1061 ``Stellar and Galactic Astronomy''  Spring 2014

Class Home page:  (this page!)

Instructor: Dr. Jason Pinkney
Office hours:   in 111 Science Annex at  these times .
Email: or call 419-772-2740.
Observatory Phone: 419-772-4028
Instructor's Home page:
Class time and place:  MWF, 10:00-10:50 am, Meyer 114

     (Watch this spot for new links, outlines, solutions, etc.)

This is a nice link about solving word problems.
An excellent web site for reviewing physics concepts: Hyperphysics.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Week 1 outline (PDF) Continued in week 2. (Ch 1 material.)
SkyMaps.pdf Color version of all 4 constellation maps.
Week 2 outline (PDF)
Week 2 outline (PDF) -- Reordered slides.
Ch. 1 "clicker" questions. (PPT file)
Review questions for 1st quiz.
Answers to 1st homework. (Some unassigned answers are shown.)
Celestial and Horizon Systems Comparison
Answers to Celestial Sphere worksheet.
Review questions for 2nd quiz.
Week 3-4 outline (PDF). (Copernican Revolution)
Ch. 2 practice questions. (PPT file)
Review questions for 3rd quiz.
Answers to Chapter 2 homework.
Review Questions for Exam I.
Light (Ch. 3) notes. (PDF)
Spectroscopy (Ch. 4) notes. (PDF)
Answers to Ch 3 & 4 homework. (Some unassigned answers may be shown.)
Review questions for 3nd quiz (Ch 3+4).
The Sun (Ch. 16) PDF
Answers to Ch. 16 homework
Review questions for 5th quiz (Ch 16, The Sun).
Stellar Properties. (Ch. 17)
Key to Bohr Model exercise.
Review Questions for Quiz on Stel. Prop.s
Stellar Evolution. (PDF)
Ch. 19 practice questions. (PPT file)
Ch. 20 practice questions. (PPT file)
Cartoon (PNG)
Review Questions on Stellar Evolution for Exam II.
Answers to Ch. 18-20 homework (txt file). (Some unassigned questions included.)
Supernova Lecture (PDF)
Distance Scale (Ch.23) (PDF)
Ch. 23 practice "clicker" questions. (PPT file)
Review Questions for Ch. 23 Quiz.
Answers to Ch. 23 homework (txt file)
HR Diagram worksheet Key. Page 1. (jpg file)
HR Diagram worksheet Key. Page 2. (jpg file)
HR Diagram worksheet. (PDF file)
Distance Scale (Ch.24) (PDF)
Review Questions for Final - Ch. 26 material


Text: Astronomy Today, 7th Edition.  By Chaisson and McMillan. ISBN-10: 0321691431.  This is a 1-volume, hardcover book. Before you try to buy just the "Stars and Galaxies" part of the 2-volume softcover version, make sure that it contains all of the chapters that we are covering in the "tentative schedule".

Course Description:
Stellar and Galactic Astronomy is an introduction to astronomy.   This course deals with stars, galaxies and the universe. The details of our solar system are left to PHYS 1051.   We will begin with a survey of the naked-eye universe (mostly nearby objects) and end with cosmology (the distant universe).   In-between we will discuss such topics as the electromagnetic spectrum, the sunspot cycle, how stars are born and die, black holes, and galaxies.   A tentative calendar of topics is outlined below.

Physics 1061 fulfills a general education science requirement and so you will be encouraged to improve your science aptitudes. This includes critical thinking, problem solving, use of mathematics and the scientific method. Astronomy relies heavily upon physics and math in order to explain the universe. Since this is an introductory course, I will try to make the tests nearly math-free. But you will still be exposed to math in homework, lectures and activities.
The course is also tagged to fulfill a general education outcome (#3) called 'scientific and quantitative literacy'. At least one assignment will also be an 'artifact' showing how this outcome was met. Only students entering ONU on or after Fall 2011 have to be concerned with archiving the artifact.

The lab for this class, PHYS 1091 (1 hr), is only taken by astronomy minors
.  (You might consider being a minor if your major requires you to take a lot of physics.)  Minors should sign up for this lab and talk with me to set up meeting times. 

Your attendance at the ONU Observatory  will weigh into the "Observing" portion of your grade (see below). There will be one class period which meets at the Observatory to observe the Sun. In addition, you should try to visit at least 3 more times, for "A" work. There is a legal pad in the control room that you must sign to get credit. Only about 40% of the nights are clear enough to observe, and the time of sunset gets progressively later. This is why there is no fixed time to visit. Moreover, I do not open the Observatory every night or even every clear night. Your strategy must be to watch the weather and call the Observatory on clear nights to see if it is open. The times I am most likely to be there are: 1) during Friday evenings 8-10 pm or 9-11 pm for Public Events (every 2-3 weeks), 2) during Wednesday evenings around 9:30-10:30 pm for ONU Astronomy Club (meets every other Wednesday) and 3) during Tuesday and Thursday nights for astronomy lab. When you visit, bring along your constellation sheets (see below), and try to get some views through our telescopes and binoculars. I should be able to get you started on your constellations, even though my main focus will be on others. You should bring a friend or two (not necessarily signed up in the class) for the long, dark walk to and from the Observatory.


You will be graded on the following:
Observing Constellation sheet, 3+ visits to Observatory  
In-class Homework, in-class activities,participation 20%
Quizzes Quizzes (drop lowest grade) 25%
Exams There will be two exams and a final. 50%

Your final letter grade is assigned roughly as follows:


I will not grade any "harder" than the above. However, if the class mean drops below 75, I will grade more leniently.

Schedule (approximate):

Week of Topic Chapter(s) Tests
Syllabus. Survey of Universe. 1 Survey
MLK Day Recess

Naked Eye Universe - the Celestial Sphere 1
1/27,29 31
Celestial Sphere, History
1,2 quiz 1
Ptolemy, Copernican Revolution
2 quiz 2
Light / Spectroscopy
3, 4 quiz 3
Spectroscopy / Sun / Observatory 4, 16 Exam I
The Sun 16 quiz 4
Spring Break

Stellar Properties
quiz 5
Stellar Properties (cont.)
quiz 6
ISM,Star formation
quiz 7
Stellar Evol. - low-mass stars like Sun
Exam II
Stellar Evol. - High mass, supernovae

The Milky Way Galaxy
quiz 9
EASTER -- --
Galaxies / The Distance Ladder
quiz 10
Turn in constel. shts.
Comprehensive Final Exam on Friday 5/9, 9:15 am.
_ Final exam.

Other Course Policies

Attendance is important for doing well in this course.   Absenteeism can directly lower your grade if you miss an in-class activity. Note that in-class activities cannot be "made up". I will record attendance on some days and factor that information into your "In-class" grade (see above). Let me know in advance (e-mail is good) if you have to miss on a test/deadline day for a valid reason (e.g., your team or musical group is on the road) and want to schedule a make-up.  If you miss because of an emergency, let me know as soon as possible, and provide proof of the emergency. "Proof" can consist of a name and phone number of a parent or authority figure who knows your situation. Make up any missed quizzes or exams before I go over them during the next class.

Graded Homework consists primarily of answering questions and problems from the textbook.   Homework will be accepted late, but will only receive 50% credit if it has already been graded. Try to turn it in before you have an abscence. Homework will be scored on completeness and correctness, but not every problem will be corrected. Look for keys on our homepage for checking your answers. I encourage you to discuss homework with your classmates, but don't copy their work verbatim.

Quizzes will be given on most non-exam weeks.  They will consist of 5-15 multiple choice/short answer questions.  They cover the assigned reading and especially the material discussed in class.  They may be given without notice.  You can only make up a quiz that was missed because of a valid conflict or emergency.  Also, you can only make up the quiz before the answers are revealed (usually the next period). For this reason, I will drop your lowest quiz score.

Exams will be given roughly every 4-5 weeks. These will weigh most heavily towards your class grade. The final exam will be comprehensive, but will emphasize the last 5-6 weeks of material. The final will occur on Friday of finals week. Do not schedule anything to conflict with your final exam! Do not ask to get out of this time! Drop now if this will be a problem.

Review Questions will be provided to help you prepare for quizzes and exams. They will appear under "NEW STUFF". Many of these questions will appear on the quizzes and exams and so it is strongly recommended that you use them to prepare.

Observing consists of filling out constellation sheets and visiting the ONU Observatory. SkyMaps.pdf is a PDF file containing a 2 maps for 2 dates during the spring (4 sheets total). You will have to label the constellations and put a check only in the constellations that you spotted in the sky. For full credit, you must visit the observatory at least 3 times. Additional visits give you extra credit, but only in the "Observing" portion of your grade. Visiting the Observatory and signing the log will get you credit.

Disruptions: You can ask questions during class, and talk during group activities, but in general you shouldn't talk while the professor is talking. Anything that distracts your teacher or your neighbors is hindering the learning process.  Class begins at 10:00 AM.  Don't be late or you may face public humiliation. You might also miss a quiz.   In general, do not disrupt the class or you may be asked to leave.

Academic Misconduct: The College of A&S has a Code for Academic Student Conduct and forms for reporting students. Academic integrity is one of the basic principles of a university community. Ohio Northern University encourages and expects the highest standards of academic honesty from all students. The A&S code states that cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action. In PHYS 1061 (this class), the biggest temptation will be to look at another person's work during tests. Do not wear caps during quizzes or exams or store information on electronic devices. The penalty for cheating is a zero score for the quiz or exam.

Tutoring is available. You are welcome to drop by during my office hours, or you can try to make an appointment. Physics tutoring sessions should occur on Thursday evenings, starting at 7:00 PM.  

  Cool Astro Links Pinkney's Homepage The ONU Physics Homepage Hyperphysics