Astronomy 16 – Astrophysics: Stars, ISM, and Galaxies

Archive of Assignments

Week 2

posted 9/14

Spectra of blackbodies of various temperatures. Taken from the Openstax Astronomy textbook.

posted 9/11

The assignment for class 4 [pdf] covers quite a few more aspects of light. We'll start by going over the problems I gave out [pdf] at the end of class on Tuesday. Bring your solutions to class, and then move on to the new material in the class 4 assignment.

posted 9/10

Please read the manual/information for our first lab [pdf] prior to coming to lab. There is also a document containing supplemental information [pdf], that's referred to in the main document that has things like step-by-step instructions for using the AstroImageJ software. There is also an article about digital images and color astronomical images [pdf] that you should read before coming to lab. If you plan to use your own computer to work with telescope data in this class this semester, then in addition to doing this reading, you should install AstroImageJ (see link on the right side of this page, you'll have to look for the download link once you're there) on your computer and download the zip file containing the Ring Nebula data you'll be using the lab.

The second homework [pdf] is available and due again on Saturday afternoon.

posted 9/9

The assignment for class 3 [pdf] covers parallax (distance measurements of stars) and the inverse square law of light (can also be used to estimate distances, or for stars of known distance, it allows us to determine their radiant power output, or luminosity).

Week 1

posted 9/5

The first homework [pdf] is available and due on Saturday afternoon.

posted 9/4

The assignment for class 2 [pdf] covers orbits. It invites you to play with the gravity simulator on the right side of the main page. Can you build a circular orbit?

Also, take a look at my solution to the problem you solved in class [pdf], if you want to check over your work. And look over the slides I showed in class [pdf]. The SOHO website has some amazing images and nearly real-time images of what the Sun looks like right now.

Sun Halpha

posted 9/2

The main thing to read and think about prior to our first class meeting on Tuesday is this document, what I call the assignment for class 1 [pdf]. It does contain some very modest reading and video viewing that you should do and think about, but you should think of the assignment document itself as the main resource and guide for what we'll be doing in class on Tuesday. Usually these class assignments will include some textbook reading. This first one though includes some scanned pages from a different textbook, two written proofs, and a video. To make it easier for you, I've collected and linked those items here: Bennet pp. 90-92, 98 [pdf], first approximate derivation of the expression for centripetal acceleration, second derivation, and the video about angle, size, and distance.

posted 7/9

Look over these images and movies of last summer's solar eclipse and think about this: When we say the Moon and Sun appear to be the same size, what is it, exactly, that's the same about their sizes? Certainly not their diameters or radii in meters.

nashville eclipse montage
credit: Richard Sparkman

The next eclipse visible in the US will be on April 8, 2024. The path of totality goes from Texas to Maine.


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This page is maintained by David Cohen
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Last modified: September 17, 2018