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Astro 7: Planets and Climate. *Rick Nolthenius *Office: 706a 479-6506, but better… *email: *visit my extremely excellent website!. They call me…. Rick. Textbook – “The Cosmic Perspective – Solar System” by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit.

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Astro 7: Planets and Climate

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Astro 7 planets and climate

Astro 7: Planets and Climate

*Rick Nolthenius

*Office: 706a 479-6506, but better…


*visit my extremely excellent website!

They call me rick

They call me…. Rick

Textbook the cosmic perspective solar system by bennett donahue schneider and voit

Textbook – “The Cosmic Perspective – Solar System” by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit

  • Use any edition you can find, they’re all essentially identical. Later is better of course, but get any edition you can afford.

  • Text is used only for the first ~half of the course.

  • 2nd half of course we’ll specialize on climate evolution of the Earth and you’ll use mostly the PowerPoints I’ve developed, and some supplementary web material I’ve written from assembled research.



  • 6 mult. choice quizzes based on text, lectures, on-line material.

    - ~10 questions each

    - closed notes

  • One video quiz, after seeing ~50min video program. Take notes and use them for your mult. choice quiz, about 20 questions.

  • Final Exam: 50 mult. choice questions. You may have a single 8x10 sheet of paper crammed with all the notes you can muster, hand-written only.

  • Two lowest scores dropped. Those two dropped will include any no-shows. Don’t miss more than two quizzes because…

  • There are No Make-ups!

  • Extra Credit possibilities

  • Buy 10 green narrow scantron sheets from the book store. $3. Cheap! Keep them in your notebook along with a pencil.

  • One Essay Question

  • 67% Quizzes, 27% Final, 6% Essay

What will we do in astro 7

What will we Do in Astro 7?

  • We start with my own “Chapter 0” on the principles of clear thinking and scientific method

  • Then the nature of matter, light, and heat – some basic physics

  • The origin of our solar system and its planets, and solar systems in general

  • Planetary atmospheres and their evolution, and an introduction to how we infer the climate and atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system

  • Then, the last half of the course will cover the climate of the Earth; it’s history, observational evidence, long term change for the future.

  • And, we’ll look especially at the time in history about which we have the best data – current climate. We’ll examine the evidence for human-caused climate change, climate modelling, how the ocean, atmosphere, aerosols, clouds, ice, and solar energy interact.

  • I’ll stress the observational facts and how we use scientific inference to arrive at ideas, how we test them to home in on our current theories of the solar system.

  • Exams will stress getting a picture of processes and the ‘why’ behind what we see, not as much on memorized factoids.







Ocean acidification

Ocean Acidification

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