INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY LAB 102
Instructor:Dr. Tom Michalik
Textbook: None. The instructor will provide the information necessary for each lab.
Course Goals: The course goals are to explore the connection between scientific theory and the reality the theory attempts to describe, to practice careful measurement and data analysis, to understand how measurement uncertainty affects every experiment, to learn how uncertainty propagates through calculations leading to experimental results, and to experience hands-on demonstrations of principles discussed in the lecture portion of the course.
Attendance: Lab attendance is expected. Attendance will be taken each lab period. An absence does not relieve you from the responsibility for work required when you are absent. Absences, no matter what the cause, will be resolved individually case-by-case. Talk to me!
Lab Reports: A lab report is usually assigned after each lab meeting. Although lab data may be shared within a group, individual lab reports are pledged. Lab reports are due at the beginning of the lab period immediately following the lab in which the exercise was done. I do not accept late work or give partial credit for late work. (I make an exception, of course, for illness. Please notify me when you are ill.) The form and content of each lab report will be specified before each lab meeting. Lab reports will be graded rigorously to insure proper form and good writing. The Excel spreadsheet will be used extensively in the data analysis as well as the lab report.
Tests: There will be no lab tests or exams.
Grading: The final course grade will be calculated from lab report grades.
Course Content: The following topics and experiments will be included: Sky Maps and Constellation Tour, The Ecliptic and Eclipses, The Retrograde Motion of Mars, Kepler's Law (Part I), The Phases of Venus, Measurement Uncertainty, Kepler's Law (Part II), The Moons of Jupiter, Classification of Stellar Spectra, and The Hubble Redshift Relation. When the sky is clear on lab night the class will walk to Winfree Observatory to learn constellations and observe the heavens directly through the 14-inch telescope.
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