Physics 230, "Stellar Astronomy", Fall 2004

This material can be found online at URL

Outline for the course, class schedule, etc.

Syllabus, including reading assignments and test dates.

Scores after Test 2

Lectures (some material may change during the course of the quarter)

  1. Challenges to studying the stars
  2. Tools: Geometry and Time
  3. Tools: Optical Telescopes and Optical Detectors

  4. Tools: Non-optical telescopes
  5. Tools: Spectrographs
  6. Tools: Interpretation of Stellar Spectra

  7. The Sun: View from the Outside
  8. The Sun: View from the Inside
  9. Test 1

  10. Special Guest: Ed Hirst, mission manager for the Genesis spacecraft mission
  11. Stars in the Neighborhood: Distance and Luminosity
  12. Stars in the Neighborhood: The HR diagram

  13. Stars in the neighborhood: Mass via eclipsing binaries
  14. Interstellar Medium: Dust
  15. Interstellar Medium: Gas

  16. Interstellar Medium: Star Formation
  17. Stellar energy generation on the main sequence
  18. Stellar evolution on the main sequence

  19. Interpreting the HR diagram of clusters
  20. Late stages of evolution for low-mass stars
  21. Late stages of evolution for high-mass stars

  22. Neutron stars
  23. Black holes
  24. Test 2

  25. The structure of the Milky Way
  26. Pulsating variable stars and the size of the Milky Way,

    A Gamma Ray Telescope in the news .... and some examples of air-showers caused by cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere

  27. Who are the galaxies in the neighborhood?

  28. Planets around other stars: how to find them
  29. Planets around other stars and the formation of life
  30. The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Homework sets. You must use the Webwork system to generate problem sets and provide answers.

Extra Credit Projects (each student may hand in up to 2 extra credit projects during the quarter)

  1. Solar Rotation Period
    Due Friday, Oct 1, at 10 AM.
  2. The Orion Nebula at many wavelengths
    Due Friday, Oct 15, at 10 AM.
  3. Angular Size of the N11 Nebula
    Due Friday, Oct 15, at 10 AM.
  4. Estimate the distance to the Gemstone Cluster
    Due Wednesday, Nov 10, at 10 AM.
  5. Transits of the Sun
    Due Monday, Nov 15, at 10 AM.
  6. Measure the Radius of the Earth


Other Astronomy Information

This page maintained by Michael Richmond. Last modified Nov 10, 2004.