M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and Moon

Introductory Astronomy Lectures

David J. Jeffery

2005 January 1


Sections and Links

  1. Foreword
  2. Contents


  1. Foreword
  2. Instroductory Astronomy Lectures (IAL) is a set of online lectures that I began developing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 2003--2004. The aim of IAL is to provide an online resource that serves as course text, course notes for the students, lectures notes for the instructor, and a lecturing tool: i.e., unified, single resource for introductory astronomy courses on either the solar system or extrasolar astronomy (i.e., stars, galaxies, cosmology).

    I believe IAL satisfactorially achieves its aim. Of course, good text books will often provide more detail and be consistently more accurate. Also some people prefer having a text that one can hold in one's hand and make notes on.

    As a lecturing tool IAL works well for me. The lectures are projected directly onto a big screen and the lecturer scrolls through them. The images and text and voice can be integrated. I find that students adjust quickly to not taking notes in class and in not being able to read every word. In lecturing, I focus on images, key words, questions to the class (which are inserted in the text), and occasionally on videos (which are linked from the IAL).

    Occasionally, a diagram or math expression needs to be improvised on a blackboard or whiteboard. One could also use document camera (doccam). with the projector set to mute.

    The questions to class are usually multiple choice. Hitherto, I've just used a show of hands to get responses. One could have the student use remotes (i.e., clickers) in order to collect answers. That takes more technology than I currently know how to use. Some questions are intended to elicit a response from an individual student in words.

    IAL is under construction. It is probably about 80 % complete for the solar system and about 60 % complete for extrasolar astronomy: many lectures need further improvement. For an all-astronomy, there is more than enough material. But be warned: some material is probably out-of-date, erroneous, and/or garbled. I am working to ameliorate things.

    In addition to IAL, I have created a problem bank, Introductory Astronomy Problems, in TeX format. The problems are all multiple choice. A pdf file of the problems, but not solutions, can be downloaded at the link above. I will provide instructors with the TeX source file (which includes solutions) on request. The questions are all coded for electronic selection. I can provide a fortran routine for selection, but an instructor could easily construct his/her own program.

    Alien mesmerized by copyright Alien mesmerized by copyright.

    Many images are included in the lectures. The main sources for images that are not of my own creation and copyright are Wikipedia, NASA, the National Optical Astrophysical Observatories (NOAO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Wikipedia images when they are not public domain are used under Creative Commons licenses. The images created US government agencies are usually public domain (see Copyright and Other Rights Pertaining to U.S. Government Works). I have also used architectural images from the Digital Imaging Project of Mary Ann Sullivan, Bluffton College, maps from the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, University of Texas Austin, some figures from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and some images from various other sources. In all cases, I have attempted to give the correct credit for the image and permission to use the image. In most cases, I have given a download site for the image. If anyone finds that I am improperly or discourteously using an image, please contact me and I will resolve the matter.

    In regard to my own text and images (all signed DJ Jeffery), I hereby give permission for downloading, use, and modification for any non-commercial or educational purposes with proper credit. Express permission is not required. I'd appreciate hearing from any users.

    For their support for this work, I thank the Departments of Physics (& Astronomy where applicable) of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Washburn University (WU), the University of Idaho (UI) and Northern Arizona University (NAU).

    Ast 105 lab sections meet in 1st week of classes

    Advertizement: Phy 108: Physics for a Better Environment


  3. Contents
    1. Course Web Site and Syllabus A course-specific site. This has to be modified for each new semester.

    2. IAL 0 A Philosophical and Historical Introduction to Astronomy

    3. IAL 1 Scientific Notation, Units, Math, Angles, Plots, Motion, Orbits

    4. IAL 2 The Sky

    5. IAL 3 The Moon: Orbit, Phases, Eclipses, and More

    6. IAL 4 The History of Astronomy to Newton

    7. IAL 5 Physics, Gravity, Orbits, Thermodynamics, Tides

    8. IAL 6 Electromagnetic Radiation

    9. IAL 7 Spectra
            PS (Stefan-Boltzmann Law reading only)/SC (Stefan-Boltzmann Law reading only)/AA (Stefan-Boltzmann Law reading only) Sequence: Homework 7; Solution 7

    10. IAL 8 The Sun
            PS/SC (sections 8 on reading only)/AA (sections 8 on reading only) Sequence: Homework 8; Solution 8

    11. IAL 9 The Life of the Sun

      Next eclipse visible in Las Vegas . October 23, 2014 . Partial Solar Eclipse

    12. IAL 10 Solar System Formation

    13. IAL 11 The Earth

    14. IAL 12 The Moon and Mercury

    15. IAL 13 Venus

    16. IAL 14 Mars: The Red Planet

    17. IAL 15 Gas Giants

    18. IAL 16 Small Bodies of the Inner Solar System and Target Earth

    19. IAL 17 Small Bodies of the Outer Solar System

    20. IAL 18 Exoplanets
    21. IAL 19 Star Basics I.
            SC/AA Sequence: Homework 19; Solution 19

            There is an incomplete alternate version IAL 19 that needs to be cannibalized for some good stuff when time allows.

    22. IAL 20 Star Basics II

    23. IAL 21 Star Formation
    24. IAL 22 The Main Sequence Life of Stars

    25. IAL 23 The Post-Main-Sequence Life of Stars
            SC/AA Sequence: Homework 23; Solution 23

            UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Some topics might be lectured on in class, but it is not an assigned reading yet.

    26. IAL 24 Compact Remnants: White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars

    27. IAL 25 Black Holes

    28. IAL 26 The Discovery of Galaxies

    29. IAL 27 The Milky Way

    30. IAL 28 Galaxies

    31. IAL 29 Active Galaxies and Quasars

    32. IAL 30 Gamma-Ray Bursts

    33. IAL 31 Cosmology
    34. IAL 32 Intelligent Life in the Universe
    35. IAL 33 Supernovae
    36. Glossary: This never got off the ground. A reasonable online astro glossary is Journey Through the Galaxy: Glossary. Further elucidation of the terms can be found at Wikipedia.

    37. Encyclopedia: Astronomy, Physics, Science, Technology I once had grand plans for this page as resource for myself and others. But it is now totally outdated by Wikipedia, but it has some image collections that are useful.

    38. Writers including secondary references Again Wikipedia has made it pointless to continue developing this resource. It has some images that are useful.