Astronomy 104

July 2016.

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.

Grades have been updated July 24, Sunday.

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!

Full Moon: July 19, Last Quarter: July 26.

New Moon: Aug. 2, First Quarter: Aug. 10.


Mars and Saturn both are up all night.

Jupiter is observable early night. Very bright (-2 mg) and large in the telescope.



1. Important discovery: LIGO finally deteted gravitational waves from coalescing pair of black holes!

A second such event has just been announced.

2. 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.


Unusual events and objects

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