Satisfies Junior Year Writing Requirement. The goal of this course is to teach the writing techniques and styles that are appropriate for the types of careers that might be pursued by an astronomy major. The course will be composed of both a set of short writing assignments and longer assignments, and some of these assignments will be orally presented to the class. All students will critique the talks, and some written assignments will be exchanged between students for peer editing and feedback. Some papers will require analysis of astrophysical data. Prerequisites: Completion of 200-level or higher astronomy class, ENGLWRIT 112 or 113, and at least the first two semesters of the first year physics sequence.
Topics include gravitational equilibrium configurations, virial theorem, polytropes, thermodynamics, convective and radiative transport, stellar atmospheres, nuclear reactions and energy generation, pre-main-sequence contraction, evolution to red giant, white dwarf, and neutron star, and supernova explosions.
The application of physics to the understanding of astronomical phenomena. Physical processes in the gaseous interstellar medium: photoionization in HII regions and planetary nebulae; shocks in supernova remnants and stellar jets; energy balance in molecular clouds. Dynamics of stellar systems: star clusters and the virial theorem; galaxy rotation and the presence of dark matter in the universe; spiral density waves. Quasars and active galactic nuclei: synchroton radiation; accretion disks; supermassive black holes. Physical processes in the gaseous interstellar medium: photoionization and HII regions and emission lines; shocks in supernova remnants and stellar jets; energy balance in molecular clouds. Quasars and active galactic nuclei: synchroton radiation; accretion disks; supermassive black holes. Students are involved in the course in discussions, oral presentations, and lab projects. The course is being taught at a higher level than a non-honors course, and a strong background in physics and math is required.
In this course, the class will operate as a 'think tank' and consider an important problem for the semester. Like problems presented to a real think tank, the questions for study will be considered to have come from a specific customer who has specific requirements and reasons for requesting the study. The work will consist of three phases: (1) reflection on the question itself and preparation of a workplan to address it; (2) scientific study of the problem; and (3) formulation of recommendations and a final work product for the customer. We elaborate on each of these phases below. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Astron and BS-Astron majors.
Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars). Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, an d other interesting astronomical objects. Gen.Ed.(PS)
Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introduction to the physical characteristics of the earth, moon, planets, asteroids and comets, their motions and gravitational interactions. Recent discoveries of space probes relative to formation of the solar system and origin of life. Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, and other interesting astronomical objects. Attendance required.(Gen.Ed. PS)
An introductory course appropriate for science majors, engineering majors, and students with a strong math and science background. Topics include: the observed properties of stars and the methods used to determine them, the structure and evolution of stars, the end-points of stellar evolution, our galaxy, the interstellar medium, external galaxies, quasars, and cosmology. Prerequisite: 1 semester of calculus.
Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars).
Basic weather parameters, light and energy in the atmosphere. Topics include: atmospheric gases and their behavior; instability of the atmosphere; winds and their origin: large scale, small scale. Moisture: evaporation, condensation, clouds. Kinds of precipitation. Storms: hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes. Atmospheric optics: rainbows, halos, mirages. Climate and climate change.  When available, course general information can be found with this link:
http://courses.umass.edu/ast105/webA105S20information.html and the lecture sequence can be found with this link:
http://courses.umass.edu/ast105/webA105S20lectures.html     (Gen.Ed. PS)