Astronomy 104, July 2017, Sections 1-2.

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.


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.

First Quarter: May 2, Full Moon: May 10,

Last Quarter: May 18, New Moon: May 25.


Venus is a large, narrow sickle, visible before sunrise or during the day.

Jupiter is up all night, Saturn rises at 11 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 are three 6-7mg comets in the evening sky!