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Courses - Fall 2017
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 MATH115.
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.).
ASTR220
Collisions in Space - The Threat of Asteroid Impacts
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: PS
GenEd: DSNS, SCIS
Restriction: Must not be in Astronomy program.
Additional information: Course is open to Astronomy and Planetary Sciences minors.
Appropriate for non-science majors. Worried? Can't sleep? Collisions in Space will evaluate the threat of asteroid impacts with the Earth using knowledge of asteroid characteristics and orbits. The merits of possible defense plans will be discussed, as well as the budgetary and political concerns associated with implementing any such plan.
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)
Honors Seminar
Credits: 1 - 16
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR410
Radio Astronomy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: ASTR121; and (PHYS271 and PHYS270; or PHYS273). Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Introduction to current observational techniques in radio astronomy. The radio sky, radiophysics, coordinates and catalogs, antenna theory, Fourier transforms, interferometry and arrays, aperture synthesis, and radio detectors.
ASTR430
The Solar System
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: ASTR121; and (PHYS271 and PHYS270; or PHYS273). Or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Formation and evolution of the Solar System. Planetary surfaces, interiors, atmospheres, and magnetospheres. Asteroids, comets, planetary satellites, and ring systems. Emphasis on using basic physics to understand observed properties of the Solar System. Intended for students majoring in the physical sciences.
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.
ASTR615
Computational Astrophysics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Formerly: ASTR688C.
Introduction to computational techniques used in astrophysical research. 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.
ASTR620
(Perm Req)
Galaxies
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Galaxy classifications; Milky way: basic data, distribution of stars, gas, dust and relativistic particles, large-scale structure and rotation; Spiral galaxies: stellar dynamics and stability, density waves, star bursts, galactic center; Elliptical galaxies: stellar dynamics, cannabalism; galaxy formation.
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.