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Astronomy (ASTR)

College of Natural Sciences

Credit not given for more than one of 110, 120, and 140. Credit not given for both 210 and 241. A grade of C (not C-) or better is required for all prerequisites.

ASTR 110 Survey of Astronomy (3) Introduction to the astronomical universe: sky and celestial objects, planetary motion, planets and the Solar System, Sun and stars, the Milky Way and galaxies, cosmology and the universe. DP

ASTR 110L Survey of Astronomy Laboratory (1) Observations of constellations and the night sky, the sun and moon, planets, stars, and deep-sky objects; laboratory and observational experiments illustrating basic concepts in astronomy. Offered in the evening. Pre: 110 (or concurrent), or consent. DY

ASTR 120 Astronomical Origins (3) Formation of the sun and stars; origin of our solar system; formation and evolution of galaxies, including the Milky Way Galaxy; origin of chemical elements, and the beginnings of the cosmos. A-F only. DP

ASTR 130 Introduction to Archaeoastronomy (3) Astronomy and celestial lore in ancient cultures: Neolithic Europe, Mayan, Mesoamerican, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, American Indian, Chinese, and Polynesian. Concepts of the cosmos, calendars, eclipse predictions, motion of celestial bodies, and navigation. Construction of simple observing tools. DP

ASTR 140 History of Astronomy (3) Covers the major discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics from the Babylonians through the 20th century, and the evolution of modern astrophysics. A-F only. (Fall only) DP

ASTR 150 Voyage through the Solar System (3) An illustrated voyage through the Solar System based on recent scientific results. The class highlights the origin, evolution, and current knowledge of the eight planets, their moons, asteroids, comets, and one star, the Sun. Field trip. (Cross-listed as GG 105) DP

ASTR 210 Foundations of Astronomy (3) A rigorous overview of modern astronomy: solar system, stellar, galactic and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. For science and engineering students. Pre: PHYS 151 or PHYS 170. DP

ASTR 241 Foundations of Astrophysics I: The Solar System (3) Solar system astrophysics. Dynamics of planets, satellite systems, asteroids and comets; planetary atmospheres and internal structure; thermal balance; the Sun as a star. Introduces numerical computing. A-F only. Pre: PHYS 170, MATH 242 or 252A, and PHYS 272 (or concurrent). (Fall only) DP

ASTR 242 Foundations of Astrophysics II: Galaxies and Stars (3) Astrophysics of galaxies and stars. Galactic structure and dynamics; active nuclei; large-scale structure. Elements of Newtonian and relativistic cosmology. Stellar atmospheres and spectral lines. Stellar interiors; nuclear energy generation; main-sequence and evolved stars. A-F only. Pre: 241, PHYS 274 (or concurrent), and MATH 243 (or concurrent) or 253A (or concurrent). (Spring only) DP

ASTR 280 Evolution of the Universe (3) The Big Bang, origin of the elements, formation and evolution of galaxies and stars. DP

ASTR 281 Astrobiology (3) Are we alone in the universe? Modern astronomical, biological, and geological perspectives on this fundamental question. Searches for life on Mars, oceans on Europa, planets orbiting other stars. Space exploration and colonies, interstellar spaceflight and communication. Pre: 110 or 210, or consent. (Spring only) DP

ASTR 300 Observational Astronomy (3) Principles and techniques of optical and near-infrared astronomical observation. Astronomical coordinate systems. Telescopes, cameras, spectrographs, and detectors. Astrometry, photometry, and spectroscopy of astronomical objects. A-F only. Pre: 210 or 242; PHYS 152 or 274; MATH 215, 241, or 251A. (Fall only) DP

ASTR 300L Observational Astronomy Laboratory (2) Optical and near-infrared astronomy laboratory. Error analysis, properties of light, data, and image processing. Astrometric, photometric, and spectroscopic measurement. A-F only. Pre: 300 (or concurrent); PHYS 152 or 274; PHYS 152L or 274L; MATH 215, 241, or 251A. (Fall only) DY

ASTR 301 Observational Astronomy Projects (4) Practical astronomical observing. Students select objects to study, plan, and conduct remote observations using research-grade telescopes, reduce data, present results in written and verbal form. Introduces LaTeX, literature research, time allocation. A-F only. Pre: 300 and 300L. (Spring only) DY

ASTR 320 Astronomical Spectroscopy (3) Introduction to astronomical spectroscopy. Stellar atmospheres, line formation, elements of radiative transfer. Phases of interstellar medium. Emission line diagnostics. Doppler shift and kinematics. A-F only. Pre: 210 or 242; PHYS 152 or 274; MATH 216 or 242 or 252A. (Spring only) DP

ASTR 380 The Cosmos in Western Culture (3) History and intellectual context of astronomical discovery; the evolution of ideas of space, time, and motion from the Babylonians to relativistic cosmologies; emphasis on the interaction of astronomy with the history of ideas. Pre: 110 (or concurrent). (Spring only)

ASTR 399 Directed Study (V) Individual reading, observation, or experimentation in astronomy and astrophysics. Repeatable four times. Pre: consent.

ASTR 423 Stellar Astrophysics (3) Advanced survey of stellar astrophysics, including application of astrometry, photometry, and spectrometry to determine fundamental stellar properties; stellar structure and evolution of single and binary stars; astrophysical distance determination methods; stellar nucleosynthesis. Pre: 242 and 300, and PHYS 480. DP

ASTR 426 Galaxies & Cosmology (3) Survey of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, including: galaxy morphology and kinematics; luminosity functions; dark matter; properties of galaxy groups/clusters; gravitational lensing; redshifts; cosmological models; the Big Bang; thermal history of the Universe; structure formation. A-F only. Pre: 300; PHYS 152 or PHYS 274; MATH 216 or MATH 242 or MATH 252A. (Alt. years) DP

ASTR 430 The Solar System (3) Observations and physical nature of planets and moons, asteroids, comets, and other small bodies; formation of the Solar System; discovery of other planetary systems; solar activity. Pre: 300; and PHYS 152 or 274; and MATH 216, 242, or 252A. (Alt. years) DP

ASTR 494 Senior Research Project (V) Research in observational, theoretical, or numerical astronomy or astronomical instrumentation development, supervised by Institute for Astronomy faculty. Alternatively, research combining astronomy with additional field, conducted with cooperating faculty. Significant written products required. Repeatable one time, up to eight credits. A-F only. Pre: 301.

ASTR 500 Master’s Plan B/C Studies (1)

ASTR 622 The Interstellar Medium (3) Astrophysics of diffuse matter, HII regions, molecular clouds, etc. Pre: consent. (Alt. years)

ASTR 623 Stellar Interiors and Evolution (3) Structure and evolution; energy sources, radiative processes; relations to observables. Pre: consent. (Alt. years)

ASTR 626 Galaxies (3) Observations and stellar dynamics of elliptical and spiral galaxies including our galaxy, globular clusters, and dark matter. Galaxy formation and evolution. Pre: consent. (Alt. years: spring)

ASTR 627 Cosmology (3) Geometry and evolution of the universe. Dark matter. Early universe. Formation of large–scale structure, galaxies, and clusters. Cosmological models. Pre: consent. (Alt. years)

ASTR 630 The Solar System (3) Survey of observational data and physical concepts on planets and smaller bodies; formation of planetary systems; solar activity. Pre: consent. (Alt. years)

ASTR 631 Radiative Transfer Stellar Atmospheres (3) Excitation, ionization, and radiative transfer in stellar atmospheres; model atmospheres, formation of line and continuum radiation. Pre: consent. (Alt. years)

ASTR 633 Astrophysical Techniques (3) Telescopes, positional astronomy, photon detection, error analysis, photometry, spectroscopy. Pre: consent. (Fall only)

ASTR 634 Astronomical Instrumentation (3) Design and operation of astronomical instrumentation. Physics of optical and infrared detectors. Wavefront sensors and adaptive optics. Radio and infrared interferometry. Optical design: methods and software. A-F only. Pre: 633 (with a minimum grade of B-). (Alt. years: spring)

ASTR 635 Fundamentals of Astrophysics (3) Applications of fundamental physics to astrophysical situations. Elements of general relativity. Basics of hydrodynamics and shock waves. Radiative processes, high energy astrophysics. Modern dynamics. Pre: consent. (Fall only)

ASTR 640 General Relativity (3) Introduction to gravity and general relativity. Tensor basics, classical scaler, vector and tensor field theories. Exact symmetric Einstein equation, gravito-magnetic weak field, and radiation solutions. Pre: consent. (Alt. years)

ASTR 641 Active Galaxies (3) Phenomenology of active galactic nuclei, black holes, accretion flows and jets, emission mechanisms, host galaxies, and cosmic evolution. Pre: 635 or consent. (Alt. years: spring)

ASTR 657 Astrochemistry-A Molecular Approach (3) Formation of astrobiologically important molecules and their precursors in the interstellar medium and in our solar system: first principles and latest trends. Pre: consent. (Fall only) (Cross-listed as CHEM 657 and GG 657)

ASTR 699 Directed Research (V) Repeatable unlimited times. Pre: consent.

ASTR 700 Thesis Research (V) Repeatable unlimited times.

ASTR 734 Astronomy Seminar I (V) Selected advanced topics in astronomy and astrophysics. Available for 1 to 3 credit hours by arrangement. Repeatable unlimited times. Pre: consent.

ASTR 735 Astronomy Seminar II (V) Selected advanced topics in astronomy and astrophysics. Available for 1 to 3 credit hours by arrangement. Repeatable unlimited times. Pre: consent.

ASTR 736 Astronomy Seminar III (V) Selected advanced topics in astronomy and astrophysics. Available for 1 to 3 credit hours by arrangement. Repeatable unlimited times. Pre: consent.

ASTR 740 Astrobiology Seminar: Origin, Evolution and the Role of Water for Life in the Universe (1) Interdisciplinary research topics in astrobiology as they relate to the theme of water: formation in space, role in creating pre-biotic molecules, delivery to earth, and terrestrial planet habitability. Repeatable three times. Pre: graduate level sciences and ideas, or consent.

ASTR 777 Star Formation (2) Molecular clouds, collapse processes, physics of circumstellar disks and accretion, properties of young stars, outflows and jets, formation of binaries, extrasolar planets and planet formation, meteorites and the early solar system. Pre: graduate standing or consent. (Alt. years: spring)

ASTR 800 Dissertation Research (V) Repeatable unlimited times.