The Nature of the Universe
This course provides a broad introduction to astronomy and our
place in the universe. We will start by discussing the mind-bogglingly
vast range in physical scales spanned by astronomy,
and then learn how we can perform astronomical observations
in our everyday lives.
We will then follow the history of astronomy as a science,
reviewing the fundamental physical concepts of motion,
energy, gravity, and light on which it
is based, along with the tools used to make astronomical measurements.
After these preliminaries, we will delve into the nature of
planets, stars, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole. At the
end of this course, students should appreciate the beauty
and power of the scientific method as it applies to astronomy.
Office: 54-147B Engineering IV
Office Hours: Monday 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Thursday 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm; Math Sciences 4000A
Discussion Sections (all in Knudsen 1116):
2A Monday 1:00 - 2:50 pm; TA: Pooya Monajemi
2B Monday 3:00 - 4:50 pm; TA: Pooya Monajemi
2C Tuesday 3:00 - 4:50 am; TA: Thomas Rehagen
2D Wednesday 11:00 - 12:50 pm; TA: Cory Jones
2E Wednesday 3:00 - 4:50 pm; TA: Cory Jones
2F Thursday 3:00 - 4:50 am; TA: Thomas Rehagen
The Cosmic Perspective (6th Edition, 2010)
Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, Voit
Astro 3 Lab Manual: Package of Lab exercises for discussion
A simple calculator is HIGHLY recommended, though not required.
Concept Test Card Sheet
- Lab Assignments
15%: Weekly required assignments completed during 2-hour discussion section.
10%: Weekly on-line quizzes based on lectures and reading (15 questions/week).
- First Midterm
20%: Multiple-choice in-class exam (4/21)
- Second Midterm
20%: Multiple-choice in-class exam (5/12)
- Final Exam
35%: Primarily multiple-choice exam (6/6)
Lab assignments are required. You must attend lab during the
first week of class. These labs will be performed in the class room
during the 2-hour discussion section, and are to be handed in
at the conclusion of the discussion section. Attendence is required
for labs. If you miss a lab for a valid reason, you should
try to attend another section that same week (not later in the
quarter). To attend another section, you must contact your
TA and the TA of the section you plan to attend at least 24
hours in advance. If for whatever reason this is not
possible then contact your TA as soon as possible within
7 days after the missed lab to discuss whether or not
a make-up is possible. Only one make-up will be
allowed per quarter. Other missed labs will earn you
a zero score. You must complete at least 6 labs or else
you will receive an "Incomplete" in Astro 3. DON'T LET
THIS HAPPEN. Exams may draw from topics covered during lab sessions.
Homework will be assigned roughly every week (starting next week)
and will consist of on-line quizzes based on lectures and reading
(~15 questions per week), in addition to the reading assignments
from the textbook. Quizzes will be due at 10 pm on each Monday, unless
otherwise announced. No late homework will be accepted. At
least 5 homework assignments must be turned in to pass the course.
Exams will consist of two midterms \bf in class, each worth 20%, and a
final exam worth 35%. The first midterm will take place on Thursday, April
21st, and the second one on Thursday, May 12th. The final
exam will be on Monday, June 6th, from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.
The exams will be (almost) exclusively based on
multiple choice questions.
Extra Credit opportunities will be announced during the quarter.
You may earn a small amount of extra credit by attending
one of UCLA's planetarium shows and telescope viewings
and filling out an extra credit questionnaire.
We will review all the basic physical concepts required for understanding
the material in the course. However, we expect a knowledge of
entry-level UC mathematics (algebra, geometry, and basic trigonometry).