Astronomy 126: The Interstellar Medium

Prof. David Cohen

Fall 2016
Wednesday 1:15 to 4:15
Science Center 113




posted Oct 20:

There's a colloquium this Friday at 12:30. The topic is biophysics.

Bron's on the schedule for seminar snack this week.


Archive of old announcements.


posted Oct 21:

Watch this "fly-through" of the Orion Nebula, based on Hubble data, to get a better sense of the spatial structure (and to, you know, imagine flying through the nebula!).

posted Oct 20:

This week is our second week for H II regions. We'll read and discuss the first half of a review article on the Orion Nebula and we'll read about density-sensitive line ratios in part of a chapter of Astrophysics II: Interstellar Matter and Galaxies by Bowers and Deeming [pdf]. The assignment [pdf] has some information to guide your reading of the Orion Nebula article (but no worked problems to hand in) and some information about the Bowers and Deeming article, and one worked problem from that reading (which you have to hand something in for on Tuesday). Note that I've also asked you to post a question on a Moodle forum about the Orion Nebula reading by Monday. And I've asked you to read this post about the Orion Nebula.


Archive of old assignments.

Upcoming Events

Check the departmental colloquium schedule. As members of the department, you are expected to attend these talks. Some of them may even mention the ISM.

There are telescope public viewings the second Tuesday of each month, at the Peter van de Kamp Observatory on the roof of the science center. The next one is on November 8, at 8 PM. Further information is available. I'd welcome help from any of you in running these events.


Class Information

Our primary textbook (and the only one I will require you to buy – you'll want to bring your copy to seminar each week; and it is small, paperback, and inexpensive) is Dyson and Williams's The Physics of the Interstellar Medium (2nd ed.) We will supplement it with a lot of other reading, all of which will be available in Cornell Library and/or online. The College bookstore will stock Dyson and Williams, but you might want to buy it online instead. It is paperback, and available both new and used. Make sure you get the 2nd edition (published in 1997).

posted Aug 23: This short document contains the guidelines for the class [pdf], including information about preparing for each week's seminar meeting.

posted Oct 13: new: The syllabus [pdf] has been updated. Note that it is still subject to change!

posted Aug 28: Please read this information about accommodation [pdf] and let me know if there's anything you'd like to talk about – I'm happy to do whatever I can. Or talk to Leslie Hempling in the Deans' Office directly.

posted Aug 28: Everyone will bring snack to seminar two times during the semester. Consult the snack schedule and put your dates in your calendar.


Astronomy picture of the day

observatory website
department website

our seminar's Moodle page


This page is maintained by David Cohen
cohen -at- astro -dot- swarthmore -dot- edu

Last modified: October 21, 2016