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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Welcome to astronomy!

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: June 4, First Quarter: July 12,

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

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Mars and Saturn both rise at sunset.

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

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News

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.

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Unusual events and objects

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

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