UCI Observatory
Jupiter imaged with Hubble Space
COSMOS Astronomy & Astrophysics Cluster


Globular Cluster M13
Andromeda Galaxy - M31

 Summer 2014

Below is the schedule of lectures and labs. The assigned reading for each day is given in the right-hand column. The textbook for the course is 21st Century Astronomy - 3rd edition by J. Hester et al. (2010). Also listed are the learning outcomes for each lecture and lab.

Week 1:

06/30 - Mon
Lecture #1
Subject: Gravity, Motion, Newton's & Kepler's Laws
Learning Outcomes: Students know Newton's laws of motion and the force of gravity, and how to apply them to understand planetary motion and derive masses for any object (star, planet, or galaxy) using observations of the speed and distance of an orbiting object.
Aaron Barth
Chpt. 3
07/1- Tues (AM)
CLEA Lab Subject: Backyard Astronomy: A Lecture on the Night Sky 
Learning Outcomes: Students listen to an interactive lecture about the motions of objects in the night sky and solve problems to learn how the night sky moves over the course of a day/night and the year. Students learn to use a Night Sky Map. Students will learn about astronomical coordinate systems and angular measurement. Students will learn how to predict the moon's phase and its rising and setting times.
Tammy Smecker-Hane
Chpt. 2
07/02 - Wed
Lecture #2
Subject: Formation of the Solar System, Asteroids, Meteorites, Comets, and Parallax
Learning Outcomes: Students learn how and when the Solar System formed, and the difference between asteroids, meteorites and comets. Students also  learn how parallax is used to measure the distance to stars and asteroids using two different methods.
Aaron Barth
Chpt. 12 & Section 13.2
07/03 - Thurs (AM)
Lab: The Revolution of the Moons of Jupiter
Learning Outcomes: Students will measure the distance between Jupiter and four of its moons over time.  By fitting a sine curve to a moon's distance as a function of time, students will derive the mass of Jupiter.
Tim Carleton

07/04 - Fri
HOLIDAY - 4th of July - No classes held

Week 2:

07/07 - Mon
 Lecture #3
Subject: Physics of Light & Spectra
Learning Outcomes: Students will learn how light is used to measure an object's brightness, luminosity, temperature, chemical composition and radial velocity. They will be introduced to atomic spectra and learn about the Doppler shift, Stefan's Law and Wein's Law.
Aaron Barth
Chpt. 4
07/08 - Tues (AM)
Lab: Astrometry of Asteroids 
Learning Outcomes: Students will identify asteroids in simulated telescope images and calculation their motion on the sky. Students also will use their observations and those of a simulated observer somewhere else on the Earth to determine the distance and speed of an asteroid.
John Phillips

07/09 - Wed
 Lecture #4
Subject: The Basics of Stars
Learning Outcomes: Students will learn that star's colors are a measure of their temperature, which is quantified by the star's spectral type. Students will learn that the magnitude system is used to measure the apparent and absolute brightnesses of stars. Students will learn that the radius of a star depends on its luminosity and temperature. Students will learn about the H-R Diagram and the fact that stars can be main-sequence, red giant, supergiant or white dwarf stars and that a star's mass, age and chemical composition sets is position in the H-R Diagram.
James Bullock
Chpt. 13
07/10 - Thurs (AM)
Lab: Spectral Types of Stars 
Learning Outcomes: Students will use a simulated telescope to obtain spectra for stars with a wide range of mass and temperature. They will learn to recognize the absorption features in stellar spectra that come from different chemical elements and estimate the masses of stars by comparing their observed spectra with a spectral library.
Liuyi Pei

07/11 - Fri
Lecture #5
Subject: The Sun
Learning Outcomes: Students learn about nuclear fusion and the proton-proton chain reactions that powers the Sun and other low mass stars. Students learn that the Sun is in hydrostatic equilibrium, which leads to a hot, dense core and a 6,000 K surface.  
James Bullock
Ch 14

Week 3:

07/14 - Mon
Lectures #6
Subject: The Evolution of Low-Mass and High-Mass Stars
Learning Outcomes: Students learn that the Sun will evolve to become a red giant when it runs out of hydrogen in its core. Students learn about the subsequent evolution of the Sun: horizontal branch star, AGB star,  planetary nebula and white dwarf star. Students learn that high  mass stars evolve differently than low mass stars, high mass stars fuse elements from helium to iron, high mass stars die in powerful supernovae explosions and leave behind neutron star or black hole remnants.
James Bullock
Chpt. 16 & 17
07/15 - Tues (AM)
Lab: H-R Diagrams of Star Clusters
Learning Outcomes: Students create an H-R diagram from simulated observations of stars in a star cluster in B and V filters. Using computer software, students find the best -fitting age, distance and reddening for the star cluster.
Tim Carleton

07/16 - Wed
Lecture #7
Subject: Star Clusters and the Milky Way
Learning Outcomes: Students learn that star clusters are powerful probes of a galaxy's structure and evolution because we can derive their distances and ages using H-R Diagrams. Students learn that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with a rotating disk of gas and stars, and a stellar bulge and halo. Students learn that dark matter makes up most of the mass of the Milky Way and a 4 million solar mass black hole resides at its center.
Michael Cooper
Chpt. 17.5 & 20
07/17 - Thurs
Lab: Hubble Redshift-Distance Relationship 
Learning Outcomes: Students use calcium absorption lines in galaxy spectra to derive their recessional velocities and apparent magnitudes to derive their distances. By plotting velocity verses distance for their set of galaxies, students determine the Hubble constant, a measure of the expansion rate of the Universe.
Liuyi Pei

07/18 - Fri
Lecture #8
Subject: Galaxies & Dark Matter
Learning Outcomes: Students learn that galaxies come in spiral, elliptical and dwarf types. Students learn that most galaxy spectra are redshifted and they are expanding away from us due to the expansion of the Universe. Students learn that rotation curves of galaxies imply that approximately 90% of the mass in galaxies is dark matter. Students learn that dark matter halos of galaxies are more spatially extended than the luminous matter and that dark matter is most likely made up of mysterious elementary particles.
Michael Cooper
Ch 18, 19 and 20.2
07/18 - Fri
(MSTB 110)
Writing: Turn in the draft of your research project's Abstract. Work on writing your powerpoint slides for your research project Poster.
Teacher Fellow

Week 4:

07/21 - Mon
Lecture #9
Subject: The Expanding Universe
Learning Outcomes: Students learn about the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe. Students learn that observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background, Type Ia Supernovae, and Galaxy cluster measurements suggest that the universe is flat and that dark energy is causing the universe's expansion rate to accelerate over time.
Michael Cooper
Sections 18.4, 18.5, 21.1 and 21.2
07/21 - Mon
(MSTB 110)
Writing: Draft of the Intel Research Proposal is due by the start of class. Turn in the draft of the powerpoint slides for your research project Poster by the end of class. Comments will come back to use on Tuesday afternoon for you to revise and complete you poster.
Teacher Fellow

07/22 - Tues (AM)
Lab: "Battle of the Astronomy All Stars" Competition
Learning Outcomes: Students use the knowledge they have gained during the course to answer questions in a  Jeopardy-like format in a friendly competition. Posters and textbooks will be given out to the winners.
John Phillips

07/22 - Tues (PM)
Project Lab
Lab: Incorporate the comments from your Teacher Fellow and TA on your poster's draft. Poster Papers should be finished by the end of the day. Those students who finish should begin printing and assembling their poster.
All TAs Present

07/23 - Wed
Lecture #10
Subject: The Early Universe & Evolution of Structure
Learning Outcomes: Students learn that as the Universe cooled after the Big Bang, protons and neutrons combined to form helium and other light elements.  Students learn that the Cosmic Microwave Background formed when electrons and nuclei combined to make the Universe neutral.  Students learn that structure grows hierarchically from the bottom up due to gravity, galaxies are the fundamental unit of structure in the Universe, and dark matter seeds the formation and controls the evolution of galaxies.
Michael Cooper
Sections 18.5 and 21.3, Chpt. 22
07/24 - Thurs (AM & PM)
CLEA Lab & Project Lab
Lab: Finalize Posters & Practice Oral Presentation or do a Galaxy Rotation Curve/Dark Matter Exercise
Learning Outcomes: Students will print out and assemble their research project Posters and practice the oral presentation that goes along with the poster with the TAs. Students who finish early can do an optional Milky Way crossword puzzle or the exercise on Galaxy Rotation Curves and Dark Matter.
All TAs Present

07/25 - Fri
10:0-12:00 am
Poster Display Sessions
UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom A
All Clusters 10:00 - 12:00 noon
All Staff Attend

07/25 - Fri
1:30-3:00 pm
Closing Ceremony
Location: Physical Science Lecture Hall
All Staff Attend

Last edited on May 22, 2014