Astronomy 104, Spring 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.

Pass/fail test makeup will be on March 29, Wednesday, 6:00-7:00 pm.
Test 2 grades have now been posted.

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: Apr. 3, Full Moon: Apr. 11,

Last Quarter: Apr. 19, New Moon: Apr. 26.


Venus is in lower conjunction, huge, narrow sickle, but next to the Sun.

Jupiter rises after 9 pm.



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.



The event of the century: total solar eclipse on Aug 21 in the U.S. !!!

Here is an RV guide - where to go?


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 is a 5mg comet in Ursa Major!