Astronomy 16: Modern Astrophysics

Prof. David Cohen

Fall 2014
Tu., Th. 9:55 to 11:10
SC 113 (seminar room)


Omega Cen Pleiades Arp 188 Eagle Nebula





posted 8/30

Our first class meeting is a week from Tuesday, but there are is some preparation you'll have to do for the class, including some naked-eye observing of the Moon. There is also some reading, thinking, and a little bit of reviewing to do in the days before our first class meeting. This is all detailed in the Assignments section, below.

Get in touch with me if you have any questions about the material and/or drop by my office (SC 125) to say hi or introduce yourself. I will be in my office nearly all of Monday afternoon.


posted 8/30

The first thing to do to prepare for class is to study this website, including the four images at the top, and especially the class announcement, posted to the right.

To prepare for the first class meeting, read this list of topics and reading assignments [pdf] for the first week. Give yourself a few days to do the preparation. As you'll see, I've provided you with some guidelines about what to focus on as you read. Please read this document carefully, and note that it is material for the entire first week, not just Tuesday's class. We'll cover the topics in more-or-less the order that they're listed, but by Thursday's class you should have completed all the preparation.

And to prepare for Tuesday's class and the course in general, go outside on at least two different evenings and find the crescent moon. Your goal is to track its motion and also its change in illumination. We'll discuss your observations in class, but you don't have to hand anything in.

The first homework assignment will be posted here shortly. It will be due on Monday, September 8.

Upcoming Events

Check the departmental colloquium schedule (the fall schedule is not yet posted). You should come to these talks. They are typically Friday at 12:30 in Rm. 199, and include free pizza.

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 September 9, at 9 PM. Astro 16 students are welcome to come and help out. It is also an excellent opportunity to show your friends the observatory and the view of astronomical objects through our telescope.


Class Information

Read the class announcement [pdf]

A syllabus will be posted here shortly


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Messier 42; with links to articles about each Messier object

Physical constants and astronomical constants from the appendix of our textbook

what's up in the sky this week

using your hands to measure angles

sky and weather information

observatory website

department website



This page is maintained by David Cohen
cohen -at-

Last modified: August 31, 2014