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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Astronomy (ASTR)

1000 Level | 2000 Level | 3000 Level | 4000 Level | 5000 Level

USP Codes are listed in brackets by the 1991 USP code followed by the 2003 USP code (i.e. [M2<>QB]).

1000. Descriptive Astronomy. 3. Covers essential features of the solar system, stellar astronomy and time measurement. Students who have taken ASTR 2310 may not earn credit in ASTR 1000, and not more than 4 credit hours may be earned by taking both ASTR 1000 and 1050.

1050. Survey of Astronomy. 4. [S3<>SE] Consists of 3 lecture periods and a two-hour laboratory in observational and laboratory astronomy. Observing sessions are scheduled after dark and held when weather permits. Designed primarily for non-science majors. Students who have taken ASTR 2310 may not earn credit in ASTR 1050. Prerequisite: MATH 1000 or passing mathematics proficiency exam at Level 2.

1070. The Earth: Its Physical Environment. 4. [S3<>SE] Discusses selected topics from geology, astronomy and meteorology illustrating fundamental concepts, processes, products and the interrelationships among them. Emphasizes nature of science and relationship between selected topics and society. Cross listed with GEOL 1070. Prerequisites: Math Level 3 or equivalent courses; consent of instructor; enrollment reserved for elementary education majors; EDCI 2000 must be selected concurrently.

2310. General Astronomy I. 4. Covers the history of astronomy, orbital mechanics, solar system (the Sun, planetary interiors, atmospheres, moons, comets, meteors); interaction of radiation and matter (physical processes in gas, black body radiation) astronomical instrumentation and detectors. Laboratory includes exercises in observational astronomy. Observing sessions are scheduled after dark and held when weather permits. Prerequisites: PHYS 1210 or 1310, MATH 2200. (Normally offered spring semester)

2320. General Astronomy II. 4. Covers the properties of stars, stellar atmospheres and stellar evolution, interstellar matter, galaxies and cosmology including models of the universe, the Big Bang, and dark energy. Laboratory includes exercises in observational astronomy. Observing sessions are scheduled after dark and held when weather permits. Prerequisites: PHYS 1210 OR 1310, MATH 2200.

4000. Astronomy for Teachers. 1‑5 (Max. 5). Specifically designed for elementary school teachers. Presents basic concepts (time, seasons, light and its properties); planetary systems of the sun; the sun and stars; the Milky Way and galaxies; and cosmology and relativity. Emphasizes presenting these concepts to elementary school children. Half the class is devoted to laboratory and workshop activities to develop techniques for presenting these concepts through visual aides, demonstrations and films. Students may receive a maximum of 5 credits in a combination of ASTR 4000 and 4100. Prerequisites: 6 hours of physical or biological science, junior standing in education. (Offered summer session)

4100. Astrophysics for Secondary Teachers. 1‑3 (Max. 3). Discusses modern physics, emphasizing obtaining and analyzing real data. Adaptable to junior and senior high school science classrooms. Special projects include analysis of planetary positions and images; direct observations of the sun; predictions of eclipses and tides; analyses of basic astronomical data of stars, star clusters, galaxies and clusters of galaxies; and cosmological modeling. Students may receive a maximum of 5 credits in a combination of ASTR 4000 and 4100. Prerequisite: junior standing in secondary science education. (Offered summer session)

4610. Introduction to Astrophysics. 3. Includes astrophysical sources of radiation, radiation transport, nonequilibrium processes, stellar atmospheres, stellar interiors and the interstellar medium. Prerequisites: ASTR 2310, PHYS 2310 and concurrent registration in PHYS 4210 and 4410. (Normally offered fall semester)

4620. Modern Research in Astrophysics. 3. Taught jointly by astrophysics faculty and others. Includes several topics of current research in astrophysics. Prerequisite: ASTR 4610.

4860. Problems in _____. 1‑4 (Max. 12). Independent, in-depth study of selected problems in astronomy and astrophysics. Entirely laboratory-oriented investigations of astronomical objects. Prerequisites: ASTR 2310 and PHYS 2310.

4870. Special Topics in _____. 1‑4 (Max. 12). Presents various subjects not normally available in regularly advertised curriculum. Prerequisite: ASTR 2310.

5150. Astronomical Techniques. 4. Discusses selected topics in observational astronomy such as applications of the Fourier transform, design of optical instruments, properties of various detectors of electromagnetic radiation, sources of uncertainty in astronomical data, reduction techniques for these data, and techniques of image processing. Prerequisite: graduate standing in astrophysics.

5160. Data Mining in Large Astronomical Surveys. 4. Aimed at an understanding of how to manipulate and analyze catalog-level data from large astronomical surveys. Students will address realistic problems in data mining large astronomical surveys using one or more programming languages. Prerequistes: none.

5420. Stellar Evolution and Structure. 4. The life cycle of stars forms the basis for this course, including formation and early evolution, hydrostatic structure, and late stages of evolution. In addition, energy generation and transport are presented. Prerequisite: graduate standing in astrophysics.

5430. Radiative Processes and Stellar Atmospheres. 4. Presents detailed descriptions of radiative transfer mechanisms, both in thermal and nonthermal sources, and the relevant techniques of observation. LTE and non-LTE models are discussed. Prerequisite: ASTR 5420.

5440. Stars and the Milky Way. 4. Spatial distribution of stars within our galaxy; photometric/ spectroscopic/ astronomic/ kinematic properties of major classes of stars; structure and dynamics of the observational determination of structure; stellar populations; and the chemical and structural evolution. Prerequisite: graduate standing in astrophysics.

5460. Galactic Structure and Evolution: Cosmology. 4. Presents material describing current cosmological models and their application to areas of extragalactic astronomy.  Topics include cosmic dynamics, introduction to relativistic models, measuring parameters, dark matter, dark energy, the cosmic microwave background radiation, big bang nucleosynthesis. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in astrophysics.

5465. Galaxies. 4. Presents material necessary for study of the Milky Way, galaxies, active galaxies, and the large-scale structure of the universe. Topics include stellar populations, kinematics and dynamics in the Milky Way and other galaxies, galaxy classification and properties, and active nuclei and quasars. Prerequisite: graduate standing in astrophysics.

5470. Interstellar Medium and Diffuse Matter. 4. The material between stars is the primary topic, including the chemistry, energetics, and evolution of interstellar matter. The formation of molecules and dust grains, and their composition, are also discussed. Emission processes characteristic of the ISM are described. Prerequisite: ASTR 5460.

5480. Planetary Astronomy. 4. Studies to include, but not limited to, area in solar nebula evolution, planetary formation and evolution, planetary surfaces, and planetary atmospheres. Prerequisite: graduate standing in astrophysics.

5490. Planets and Their Stars. 4. Reviews recent and current research in planets and exoplanets.  Topics may include planet formation, known properties of exoplanets, comparisons to Solar System planets, properties of planet-hosting stars, and evolution of planetary systems.  Prerequisites: graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

5630. General Relativity and Cosmology I. 3. Presents a detailed study of Einstein's theory of the gravitational field with emphasis on the geometric structure of space-time, and selected topics in general relativity. Prerequisite: PHYS 5320, 5420.

5860. Independent Study. 1-4 (Max. 8). Investigations on the level of original graduate research in astrophysics. Research projects emphasized are primarily in infrared astrophysics. Prerequisite: ASTR 4860 or equivalent.

5870. Special Topics in Astronomy. 1-4 (Max. 10). Prerequisite: graduate standing.

5960. Thesis Research. 1-12 (Max. 12). Graduate level course designed for students who are involved in research for their thesis project.  Also used for students whose coursework is complete and are writing their thesis. Prerequisites:  enrollment in a graduate degree program.

5980. Dissertation Research. 1-12 (Max. 12). Graduate level course designed for students who are involved in research for their dissertation project. Also used for students whose coursework is complete and are writing their dissertation. Prerequisite: enrollment in a graduate degree program.

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