This course is designed for astronomy majors and undergraduates who wish to learn basic astrophysics from a quantitative perspective. The course includes an introduction to the physical principles needed to understand astronomical phenomena, such as laws of motion, gravitation, and radiation; astronomical instruments; the structure and evolution of the Solar System bodies; properties of exoplanets; and the search for life. In the associated lab sections, taught by teaching assistants, students use research-grade optical telescopes both on campus and the Iowa Robotic Observatory in Arizona and develop some basic skills in scientific programming.

Teaching Assistants

Sean Gunderson

 

Lab Schedule - Fall 2021

Week of Lab
23 Aug – 27 Aug No Lab – First Week of Classes
30 Aug – 3 Sep Exploring the Sky
6 Sep – 10 Sep No Lab – Labor Day Week
13 Sep – 17 Sep Observing the Moon 
20 Sep – 24 Sep Observing with the VAO
27 Sep – 1 Oct Angular Size
4 Oct – 8 Oct Mass of Jupiter (Jupiter and Saturn Observations)
11 Oct – 15 Oct Measuring the Earth, Observer Proficiency Checklist Deadline I
18 Oct – 22 Oct Image Analysis I
25 Oct – 29 Oct Image Analysis II
1 Nov – 5 Nov Introduction to the Iowa Robotic Observatory 
8 Nov – 12 Nov Project Workday I
15 Nov – 19 Nov Project Workday II, Observer Proficiency Checklist Deadline II
22 Nov – 26 Nov No Lab – Thanksgiving Week
29 Nov – 3 Dec Exoplanets
6 Dec – 10 Dec Project Presentations, Projects Due
13 Dec – 17 Dec No Lab – Exam Week