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.


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!

New Moon: Oct. 1 , First Quarter: Oct. 9,

Full Moon: Oct. 16, Last Quarter: Oct. 22.


Mars and Saturn are up very early night only.



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 deteted 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.

After Pluto it is targeting another KBO.



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


Unusual events and objects

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