Astronomy 104, Fall 2017, 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.

Test grades have been posted. A strong curve has been applied.

Pass/fail test on Sept. 26, Tuesday, 6:00-7:00 pm in Lewis 101.

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 is very quiet now.

New Moon: Sept. 20, First Quarter: Sept. 27,

Full Moon: Oct. 5, Last Quarter: Oct. 12 .


Venus is visible before sunrise or during the day.

Saturn is up early night.



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.


Unusual events and objects

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

Look up 'Observable comets', there are three 6-7mg comets in the evening sky!