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Courses - Spring 2024
ASTR
Astronomy Department Site
Open Seats as of
07/14/2024 at 10:30 PM
ASTR100
Introduction to Astronomy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
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.
Discussion sections do not meet the first week of classes. Attend lecture before coming to discussion section.
ASTR101
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
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 do not meet the first week of classes. Attend lecture before coming to discussion or lab section. Students must pay a $50.00 Laboratory Materials fee.
ASTR121
Introductory Astrophysics II - Stars and Beyond
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNL
Prerequisite: ASTR120 and MATH140; or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Restriction: Must be in Astronomy program; or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
For students majoring in astronomy or with a strong interest in science. Includes instrumentation, stellar properties, stellar evolution, structure of the galaxy, other galaxies, large scale structure, Big Bang Theory, and future of the universe.
ASTR220
Collisions in Space - The Threat of Asteroid Impacts
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNS, SCIS
Restriction: Must not be in the Astronomy major.
Should we defend our planet against potential asteroid impacts? 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. Appropriate for non-science majors.
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.
ASTR288B
(Perm Req)
Special Projects in Astronomy; Mathematics in Astronomy
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.

This course is designed to assist astronomy majors (particularly first years or prospective majors) with the mathematical framework needed to be successful in Calculus I and Calculus II. This course will review concepts in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, functions, logarithms, and exponentials, as well as other topics. The course will also explore how these concepts show up in astronomy.
ASTR288I
(Perm Req)
Special Projects in Astronomy; Introduction to the Astronomy Major
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.

Introduces new Astronomy majors to the possible career paths that they might choose upon completion of an undergraduate Astronomy degree, soft skills that would be useful in these possible careers, and useful skills and knowledge to better prepare them for research as an undergraduate.
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.
ASTR315
Astronomy in Practice
Credits: 4
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSNL or DSSP
Restriction: Must not be in Astronomy program.
Additional information: Appropriate for non-science majors.
Students learn astronomy research techniques and contribute significantly to the existing body of astronomical knowledge. Students apply methods and tools such as celestial coordinates, telescopes and CCD cameras, and appropriate analysis software to a specific observational goal. Students produce a work detailing their scientific result which will be submitted for publication in a professional venue. Each semester, the course focuses on a specific astronomical topic or type of object, such as asteroids, extrasolar planets, supernovae in other galaxies, quasars, etc.
ASTR320
Theoretical Astrophysics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Prerequisite: ASTR121; and (PHYS270 and PHYS271; or PHYS273).
Restriction: Must be in Astronomy program.
Application of selected physics concepts in an astrophysical context. Topics would include gravity (Keplerian motion, Virial theorem, Roche limit, dynamical friction); gas dynamics (hydrostatic equilibrium, stellar models, spiral density waves), thermodynamics and statistical physics (Boltzmann distribution, Wien displacement, convective instability, degenerate gas); atomic physics (quantum principles, H atom, permitted and forbidden lines); radiation processes (line radiation, opacity).
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.
ASTR350
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.
Credit only granted for: ASTR398B or ASTR350.
Formerly: ASTR398B.
Black holes are the most exotic prediction of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity and, amazingly, the Universe seems to manufacture these bizarre objects in copious numbers. As well as being the ultimate laboratory for studying the nature of space and time, they drive some of the most energetic and extreme phenomena known to astronomers (with quasars and gamma-ray bursts being just a couple of examples). In this introduction to the physics and astrophysics of black holes, we start by examining the basic physics of black holes, which fundamentally means understanding gravity. We then look at the nature of stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes. We will discuss the fairly recent realization that black holes may be crucial agents for regulating the growth of galaxies. Finally, we dive into the realm of theoretical physics and probe how black holes may provide a route for uncovering new laws of physics governing the structure of space and time.
ASTR399
(Perm Req)
Credits: 1 - 16
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
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.
ASTR450
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in ASTR320; or permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Vectorial mechanics, motion in a central force field, gravitational and non-gravitational forces, the two-body and three-body problems, orbital elements and orbital perturbation theory, resonances in the solar system, chaos. Intended for students majoring in any of 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.
ASTR620
(Perm Req)
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
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.
ASTR635
(Perm Req)
Exoplanetary Astrophysics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Restriction: Permission of CMNS-Astronomy department.
Credit only granted for: ASTR635 or ASTR688E.
Formerly: ASTR688E.
Introduces students to the current state of the exoplanetary field, at a graduate level. Topics covered will include exoplanet detection, exoplanet demographics, planet formation and evolution, planetary atmospheres and interiors, and habitability.
ASTR688C
(Perm Req)
Special Topics in Modern Astronomy; Seminar in Modern Astronomy Research
Credits: 1
Grad Meth: S-F
ASTR699
(Perm Req)
Special Problems in Advanced Astronomy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR799
(Perm Req)
Master's Thesis Research
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR898
(Perm Req)
Pre-Candidacy Research
Credits: 1 - 8
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
ASTR899
(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.