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Astro 4: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. *Rick Nolthenius Call me “Rick”. *Office: 706a 479-6506 *email: [email protected] *visit my extremely excellent website!.

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astro 4 stars galaxies and the universe

Astro 4: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

*Rick Nolthenius

Call me “Rick”.

*Office: 706a 479-6506

*email: [email protected]

*visit my extremely excellent website!

Textbook – “The Cosmic Perspective – Stars, Galaxies, Cosmology” – Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit; 5th Edition
  • ~$70 new in the bookstore. No used ones around yet.
  • I will try to get one copy on reserve in the library
  • 6 mult. choice quizzes based on my lectures, with help from the textbook.

- ~10 questions each

- closed notes

  • ~2 video quizzes; after seeing ~45 min video program. Take notes and use them for your mult. choice quiz, about 20 questions each
  • Final Exam: 50 mult. choice questions. You may have a single 8x10 sheet of paper crammed with all the notes you can muster!
  • Your two lowest scores will be dropped. That includes no-shows
  • Because…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.
what will we do in astro 4
What will We Do in Astro 4?
  • We start with the nature of Science, reason, and the principles of clear thinking. My own “Chapter 0” on the principles of clear thinking and scientific method
  • Some basic ideas: Forces, Gravity, the nature of light and matter
  • The sun, our up-close look at a typical star
  • Then to boldly go, on to the stars! How they’re born, their lives, their deaths, and how death gives rise to new life
  • Violence in Space! Supernovae, black holes, gamma ray bursts
  • Then galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their heart
  • The Big Bang origin of the Universe. Inflation, Dark Matter, Dark Energy
  • The idea of the MultiVerse, the Anthropic principle and the intimate connection between alternate universes and the nature of life
  • I’ll stress the observational facts and how we use scientific inference to arrive at ideas, and to test them to arrive at our current theories of the Universe. Exams will stress getting a picture of processes and the ‘why’ behind what we see, not so much on memorized factoids.

The discovery of forces, gravity, and light

sun in h alpha
Sun in h-alpha

The Sun – our close up look at a star

star birth bubble
Star birth bubble

The Birth of Stars in Interstellar Clouds

stars clusters
Stars, clusters

Star clusters and stellar evolution


The death of stars


Dark Matter – What it is not, and might be


Dark Energy and the Origin of the Universe