## Topic outline

• ### Week 1

#### Tuesday, January 22

• As soon as possible (before Tuesday) complete the questionnaire above.
• As soon as possible (before Tuesday), find an image of some solar system object that you find interesting.  Astronomy Picture of the Day is a good resource, but other sources are fine too.  Note that there are many things in the solar system besides the planets - moons, asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt objects, zodiacal dust - so stretch a bit so I don't have 22 pictures of Saturn :-)  (not that Saturn isn't awesome!) but do also follow your interests.
• When you have found your image, email me with:
• A link to the image.  We'll look at all of these images in class on Tuesday (so I need them by Monday evening, earlier if possible).
• An explanation of what you find interesting / beautiful / puzzling / intriguing about the object.
• Images shown in class.

#### Thursday, January 24

• Reading: Ryden and Peterson pp. 47–52 (Kepler's laws of planetary motion), pp. 61–62 (very brief treatment of Newton's law of universal gravitation.  For a somewhat less terse discussion of both of the above, see the free OpenStax Astronomy textbook online, Sec. 3.1 and Sec. 3.3.
• If needed, there is also a free OpenStax physics textbook, with treatments of some topics that could be good for review.  For this class, you could look at their treatment of gravitation (similar to the astronomy book but with a worked example), and centripetal acceleration.
• Before class, think about and write down a simple equation for the force acting on a body that is in a circular the Sun.  One side should be a general expression for the force necessary to make any sort of object move in a circle at constant speed, and the other side should be a specific expression for what is providing that force in this particular case.  Write it down in your notes before coming to class (or as close as you can get to figuring it out) and we'll work with that expression to understand orbits.
• Here are a few notes clarifying some things about gravity and Kepler's third law; these might be a useful supplement to your class notes.
• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 2

We'll have our first lab this week, on either Tuesday or Thursday evening, depending on your section.  Lab will be at 8 PM in Science Center 187.  Read Ryden & Peterson pp. 1–8 before coming to lab.

Instructions for the lab are linked below.

#### Tuesday, January 29

• HW 1 due by the start of class.
• Reading: Ryden & Peterson pp. 83–92 (on tides) in Chapter 4; skip or skim pp. 87–88.
• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 3

#### Tuesday, February 5

• HW 2 due by the start of class.
• Read Sections 2.1–2.4 of Chapter 2 from Kutner, Astronomy: A Physical Perspective (linked below).  For 2.1, you can just skim, and concentrate on the material in 2.2–2.4.
• Images shown in class.

#### Thursday, February 7

• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 4

#### Tuesday, February 12

• HW 3 due by the start of class.
• Read Sections 8.1 and 8.2 of Ryden and Peterson (pp. 194–203).
• Images shown in class.
• Here's the video I mentioned in class - check it out when you have a few minutes just to watch the Moon rise:

• ### Week 5

#### Tuesday, Feb. 19

• Midterm exam on material up through small-angle approximation (first part of class on Tuesday Feb. 12)
• Includes material on HW 1–3, plus small-angle approx. / angular diameter.
• Constants will be provided; you can bring a one-sided sheet of notes, 8.5 x 11 inches.

#### Thursday, Feb. 21

• Reading: Ryden & Peterson Section 9.2, especially pp. 213–216 on hydrostatic equilibrium, and the solution for Earth's atmosphere under the ideal gas law.
• For next week you'll be working on individual studying of and reporting on specific planets.  The list of planet assignments is here.
• Images shown in class.
• ### Week 6

#### Tuesday, Feb. 26

• Homework 4 due with written research on your assigned planet.
• In-class work on preparing presentations.  Bring a laptop if you have one.
• Reading is the relevant part of the textbook for your planet, plus some other resources detailed in the assignment.   (Lissauer and de Pater chapters are linked below.)

#### Thursday, Feb. 28

• In-class 10-minutes presentations on your assigned planet.

• ### Week 8

#### Thursday, Mar. 21

1. Regarding exoplanets, one overall question we'd like to answer is, Are other solar systems like our own?  That's a good question, but it's not the question I want you to answer.  Instead, a meta-question:  what does it take to answer that question?  In other words, of course other solar system are like ours in some general ways, and different in other (possibly narrower) ways.  So think about some more specific questions related to this that we can actually address with observations, and come to class with at least one of those questions written down.  As an example of what I'm thinking of, we could ask, do ~ Earth-sized planets always have Earth-like (rocky, ~ 5 g/cm^3) densities?  And a plot of planet radius vs. planet density could help us answer that.   So think about that kind of question - what are properties of our own solar system and its planets that we could test against other solar systems?
2.  Why is the sky dark at night?  Does it matter if the universe is infinite?  Again, write down some thoughts about that (including possibly what other questions you would need to have answered to answer that big question) and bring them to class tomorrow.
• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 9

#### Thursday, Mar. 28

• Reading: Ryden & Peterson section 19.2 (measuring the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, dark matter).
• Images shown in class.
• ### Week 10

#### Thursday, Apr. 4

• Reading: Ryden & Peterson Section 20.1 (kinds of galaxies), 20.4 (distances to galaxies).
• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 11

#### Thursday, Apr. 11

• Midterm exam 2 during class.

• ### Week 12

#### Tuesday, Apr. 16

• Reading: Jones & Lambourne, Intro to Galaxies and Cosmology, pp. 213-220 (Sec. 5.1 and 5.2), linked below.
• No homework this week.
• Images shown in class.

#### Thursday, Apr. 18

• Reading: See the second Jones & Lambourne PDF linked below, and read / look at / think about the following.  It seems like a lot, but the book is pretty conversational with lots of figures, so work through and I think you'll find it more conversational than Ryden & Peterson.
• Intro to Sec. 5.3 plus Sec. 5.3.1, pp. 220-224.
• Figure 5.13 (possible curved spaces and how lines behave)
• Sec. 5.3.3 (pp. 226-227)
• Figure 5.16 (curvature again, adding the "k" parameter for classifying spaces)
• Figure 5.18 (co-moving coordinates)
• Intro to 5.4 and Sec. 5.4.1 (pp. 238-242)
• Sec. 5.4.3:  Look at the first two pages (including the inset box) but don't worry too much about understanding this part just yet - we'll spend time on it in class and work through the details, especially unpacking Eq. 5.27 which is a little cryptic but holds a lot of information about the universe (or rather, the set of possible universes).
• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 13

#### Tuesday, Apr. 23

• Reading: Jones & Lambourne, Intro to Galaxies and Cosmology:
• Read Sec. 5.4.2 (pp. 243-245 from the Ch. 5 document linked last week).  Don't get bogged down in the mathematical definition of the deceleration parameter q0; just concentrate on the overall idea of what it represents (change in the expansion rate over time) and how that appears on a Hubble diagram.
• Read Secs. 7.1-7.3 in the Ch. 7 document linked below; if you want, you can skip Sec. 7.2.2 ("Other methods of determining H0").
• HW 8 due by the start of class.
• Images shown in class.

• ### Week 14

#### Tuesday, Apr. 30

• Topic:  anisotropies in the CMB, and what they tell us about the parameters of the universe (curvature especially, but also other things).
• Reading: Jones & Lambourne, Intro to Galaxies and Cosmology:
• Read the Ch. 6 reading listed last Thursday, if you didn't have time to read it previously.
• Read Section 6.6, "Gravitational clustering and the development of structure"
• HW 9 due by the start of class.
• Images shown in class.

#### Thursday, May 2

• Topics:  Big Bang nucleosynthesis, plus remaining open questions in cosmology, especially the current "tension" about the value of H0
• Images shown in class.
• NY Times article on the tension between different Hubble constant measurements.  (New York Times 2019-02-25, "Have Dark Forces Been Messing With the Cosmos?" by Dennis Overbye.
• Section 6.4 from Jones & Lambourne.

• This topic

### Final exam

The final exam is Sunday, May 12, 2:00-5:00 PM in Science Center 128.

Please bring a one-sided 8.5x11 inch page of notes, and a basic calculator (not on a phone or tablet, no internet connection, no document storage).

The final exam is closed book except for the items listed above.

This sheet of physical constants and planetary parameters will be part of the exam.  You won't need specific numbers that aren't here, but of course you should feel free to include other information (e.g. shortcut conversion factors, quantities in different units) on your sheet of notes if you like.

Here is a list of key topics we've covered through the semester.  I may have inadvertently left something out, so feel free to ask.