Astronomy 104, Fall 2016, Sections 5-6-7-8.

These are introductory courses to astronomy, with more emphasis on active thinking than memorizing facts. The main points of this course are (1) a general understanding of astronomy, (2) what can be observed in the sky, (3) the Solar System in 103 / the stars and the Universe in 104.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Final test - Thursday 4:00 pm

In all classes and for all tests,

students need a new scantron # 16485,

one scantron for each class.


What's up in the sky?

 
The Sun.
There are quite a few sunspots now!

First Quarter: Dec. 7, Full Moon: Dec. 13,

Last Quarter: Dec. 20, New Moon: Dec. 29.

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Venus , half-moon shape, sets early.

Uranus and Neptune are up all night, Mars set early;

these three look tiny in the telescope at this time.

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News

1. Proxima Centauri, the closest star, has a planet.

2. Titan's (Saturn's largest moon's) rivers and channels are filled with liquid.

3. Important discovery: LIGO finally detecting gravitational waves from coalescing pair of black holes!

4. The New Horizon mission to Pluto keeps discovering surprises. Here is a list of the top ten explained.

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Interesting

A solar flare came inches from starting starting Word War III in 1967.

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Unusual events and objects

(Students might want to ask help in how to use the coordinates, ephemerids and finder charts.)

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