Creative Commons License Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Outline of Physics 301, "University Astronomy"

Course material can be found online at URL


Michael Richmond
Building CAR, Office 1274
Office phone: 475-2538

Class hours

   Monday     9:00 -  9:50 am   CAR-1230
   Tuesday    9:00 -  9:50 am   CAR-1230
   Thursday   9:00 -  9:50 am   CAR-1230
   Friday     9:00 -  9:50 am   CAR-1230

Office Hours

   Monday     10:00 am - 11:00 am   
   Tuesday    11:00 am -  noon      
   Wednesday   9:00 am - 10:00 am    
   Thursday   10:00 am - 11:00 am   
You may call to make an appointment. If my office door is open, feel free to enter. I'm almost always in my office :-(


There are several components to the final score in this course. The list below is not definitive, but a rough guide to the importance of each component.
   30  percent  homework/in-class work
   30  percent  test 
   40  percent  final exam 
    4  percent  optional extra credit assignments (2 percent each)
  104  percent

Course grades are based on a total of 100 percent.

At the end of the course, I shall calculate the total score for each student. Based on the overall distribution of scores in the class, I may use the traditional means of assigning letter grades to scores ("A" for greater than 90%, "B" for 80% to 90%, etc.); or I may slide the grade boundaries downward to some degree.

If you know in advance that you will have to miss a test, or if you miss a test unexpectedly, you may request a makeup test. However, you must fill out the following form to REQUEST a makeup test:

The form must be approved by the head of Physics in order for your request to be approved.

There will be no makeups for in-class material or homeworks.


There is no textbook for this course.

However, if you plan on taking other astronomy courses (perhaps as part of the astronomy minor), let me suggest a very good reference book: An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie. The first edition may be out of date in a few spots, but most of the material will still serve you well.

Other resources

There is a Physics Study Center on the first floor of the College of Science. A schedule posted outside the room lists times at which someone will be available to help with questions. You may also contact the Learning Development Center, in the Eastman Building, second floor. The Office of Special Services can arrange one-on-one tutorial sessions for qualified students.

The COS computer lab on the first floor of the new wing has several programs which may be used in this course. You should become familiar with the lab setup.

If my office door is open, please feel free to visit.

If you have any special needs, you must inform me during the first week of classes. Otherwise, I may not be able to make arrangements in time to help you. Please contact me after class or at my office.

This page maintained by Michael Richmond. Last modified Mar 12, 2012.

Creative Commons License Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.