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Courses - Fall 2016
ASTR
Astronomy Department Site
ASTR100
Introduction to Astronomy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: PS
GenEd: DSNS
Credit only granted for: ASTR100, ASTR101, or ASTR120.
An elementary course in descriptive astronomy, especially appropriate for non-science students. Topics include the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, and nebulae, galaxies, and evolution of the Universe.
ASTR101
General Astronomy
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: PL
GenEd: DSNL
Credit only granted for: ASTR100, ASTR101, or ASTR120.
Descriptive astronomy, appropriate for non-science majors. Sun, moon, planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and evolution. Laboratory exercises include use of photographic material, computer simulations, and standard laboratory equipment.
Discussion sections and lab sections do not meet the first week of classes. Attend lecture before coming to discussion or lab sections.
ASTR120
Introductory Astrophysics - Solar System
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg
CORE: PS
GenEd: DSNS
Prerequisite: Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in MATH140.
Restriction: Must not have completed ASTR101 or ASTR100.
Credit only granted for: ASTR100, ASTR101, or ASTR120.
For students majoring in astronomy or with a strong interest in science Topics include development of astronomy, planetary orbits, electromagnetic radiation, telescopes as well as constituents and origin of the solar system (planets, satellites, comets, asteroids, meteoroids, etc.).
ASTR230
The Science and Fiction of Planetary Systems
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: PS
GenEd: DSNS, SCIS
Prerequisite: Must have math eligibility of MATH115 or higher; or MATH113.
Have you ever wondered if humans will ever terraform Mars or Europa so we could live there without a spacesuit? Has it ever crossed your mind how lucky you are that you live on a water-rich planet with an oxygen-rich atmosphere? Have you ever suspected novelists and scriptwriters of creating ridiculous planets that violate scientific laws? Does the fate of our planet's thin biosphere keep you up at night? How common is life in the Universe? These are difficult questions, but armed with the right information, you can answer all of them. The Science and Fiction of Planetary Systems will help you develop a deeper understanding of why planets are the way they are. Along the way, you'll see examples of mistakes made in classic science fiction movies, novels and short stories and get the chance to invent your own plausible planets!
ASTR288
(Perm Req)
Special Projects in Astronomy
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
A faculty sponsor must be found by the students prior to enrollment.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR288C
(Perm Req)
Special Projects in Astronomy; Astronomy Research Techniques
Credits: 2
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
ASTR288P
Special Projects in Astronomy; Introduction to Astonomical Programming
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department required. Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in ASTR121.

Astronomy students are provided with the basics of using the Unix/Linux operating system and scientific programming using either C or Python.
ASTR300
Stars and Stellar Systems
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNS
Prerequisite: ASTR100 or ASTR101; and completion of the CORE Distributive Studies requirement in Mathematics and Sciences or General Education Fundamental Studies requirement in Mathematics. Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Designed primarily for non-science majors. Study of stars-types, properties, evolution, and distribution in space; supernovae, pulsars, and black holes.
ASTR310
Observational Astronomy
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSSP
Prerequisite: ASTR121; and (PHYS171 or PHYS161). Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Restriction: Must be in Astronomy program.
Introduction to current optical observational techniques, with brief coverage of infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray techniques. Statistics, spherical trigonometry time, catalogs, geometrical and physical optics, telescopes, and optical instruments. Effects of the atmosphere. Practical work at the observatory using a CCD camera. Some nighttime observing sessions.
ASTR330
Solar System Astronomy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNS
Prerequisite: ASTR100 or ASTR101; and completion of the CORE Distributive Studies requirement in Mathematics and Sciences or the General Education Fundamental Studies requirement in Mathematics. Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Credit only granted for: ASTR330 or GEOL212.
Designed primarily for non-science majors. The structure of planets and of their atmospheres, the nature of comets, asteroids, and satellites. Comparison of various theories for the origin of the solar system. Emphasis on a description of recent data and interpretation.
ASTR340
Origin of the Universe
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNS
Prerequisite: ASTR100 or ASTR101; and completion of the CORE Distributive Studies requirement in Mathematics and Sciences or General Education Fundamental Studies requirement in Mathematics. Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Designed primarily for non-science majors. A study of our progression of knowledge about the universe. Topics include: early cosmological models, geocentric vs. heliocentric theory, curvature of space, Hubble's Law, Big Bang Theory, microwave background radiation, evolution of stars and galaxies, dark matter, active galaxies, quasars and the future of the universe.
ASTR380
Life in the Universe - Astrobiology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
GenEd: DSNS
Designed primarily for non-science majors. Study of the astronomical perspective on the conditions for the origin and existence of life in the universe.
ASTR399
(Perm Req)
Credits: 1 - 16
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR415
Computational Astrophysics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: ASTR121; and (PHYS271 and PHYS270; or PHYS273). Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Introduction to the most important computational techniques being used in research in astrophysics. Topics include modern high performance computer architectures, scientific visualization and data analysis, and detailed descriptions of numerical algorithms for the solution to a wide range of mathematical systems important in astrophysics.
ASTR422
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in ASTR320; or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Introduction to modern cosmology. Topics include large scale structure of universe, the intergalactic medium, the nature of dark matter cosmological models and galaxy formation.
ASTR498
(Perm Req)
Special Problems in Astronomy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR601
(Perm Req)
Radiative Processes
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Emission, absorption, and scattering of radiation by matter, with astrophysical applications. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics: LTE, Boltzmann, and Saha equations; radiative transfer; atomic and molecular radiation; plasma radiation and transfer: bremsstrahlung, synchrotron emission, Compton scattering.
ASTR610
Astronomical Instrumentation and Techniques
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Review of Maxwell's equations; designs of telescopes, spectrographs, modern detectors; basic concepts for radio detectors and telescopes; interferometry and data processing.
ASTR630
Planetary Science
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Credit only granted for: ASTR630 or ASTR688P.
Formerly: ASTR688P.
The science of our planetary system with an emphasis on the aspects of it, that help us understand the origin of the system and thus the relevance to other planetary systems. Topics will include planetary atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors and the small bodies of the solar system (asteroids, comets, Kuiper-belt objects). We will consider the dynamics of these bodies and the physics and chemistry of these bodies.
ASTR695
Introduction to Research
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: S-F
Provides an introduction to research programs in the Department of Astronomy and a forum to explore possible research projects. Aimed at incoming graduate students.
ASTR699
(Perm Req)
Special Problems in Advanced Astronomy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR799
Master's Thesis Research
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR898
Pre-Candidacy Research
Credits: 1 - 8
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR899
(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.