Astronomy 103

Fall 2013

Sections 1-2-3-4.

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 stars and the Universe.


Welcome to astromomy!

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: Aug. 25, First Quarter: Sept. 2,

Full Moon: Sept. 8, Last Quarter: Sept. 15,


Mars is up early night, but looks very small in the telescope.

Saturn is observable early night.



1. Meteor impact carve new craters on Mars.

2. Big Bang Inflation Evidence Inconclusive.

The old news: The BICEP2 experiment made an important discovery which confirms the existence of gravitational waves, provides evidence for inflation and relates the scale of inflation to the scale of Grand Unification. It is also the first (indirect) experimental detection for Hawking radiation and quantum gravity.

3. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is shrinking and fading?


Unusual events and objects

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

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) is 6 mg in the dawn sky. It is coming over to the night sky soon!

(Click 'Observable comets below.)

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