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##### ASTR220 Collisions in Space

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**ASTR220Collisions in Space**Prof. Derek Richardson Office: CSS1249 Phone: 301-405-8786 Email: dcr@astro.umd.edu Office hours: After class or by appointment**Course topics**• Collisions in the Solar system • Formation of the solar system • Collisions affecting the Earth in more recent times –science, and Hollywood • Collisions in a general sense: gravitational interaction in the Universe • Life and death of stars • Interacting (“colliding” stars) • Neutron stars, black holes and warped space-time • The biggest explosions… “gamma-ray bursts” • Cosmic collisions • Colliding galaxies • Giant black holes and quasars • Time-warps and wormholes**Course texts**• Night Comes to the Cretaceous Powell, c. 1998, Harcourt-Brace The story of the search for traces of the impact that wiped out the dinosaurs**Course Information**• This course is for non-science majors who have strong interests in astronomy • This is a 200-level class; it is not a replacement for ASTR100 or ASTR101 • Assume some background in (or willingness to learn) basic astronomy • Simple math: algebra and statistical reasoning • Satisfies CORE distributive studies requirement for a non-laboratory physical sciences course**Course work and grading**• In-class participation is very important • There will be homeworks, in-class quizzes, a book review, in-class activities, one midterm exam, and a (cumulative) final exam • These, as well as grading breakpoints are summarized in the syllabus • This course will NOT use the +/- scheme**Grading (cont.)**• Midterm exam 25% • Final exam 35% • Homework 25% • In-class activities 15% • NOTE: if you want an ‘A’, you can’t just rely on the exams**Grade boundaries**• You will be guaranteed at least the following letter grade corresponding to your score percentage: • 90% and above A • 80-89% B • 68-79% C • 55-67% D • Below 55% F • Any curving will only increase your letter grade.**Examinations**• Midterm and final exam will have similar formats • Section of multiple choice questions • Section of questions needing short written answers or short calculations. • Midterm exam will be in class on the 23rd October 2003 (tentative). • As per the current University schedule, the final exam will be 8.00-10.00am on 15th December 2003 in this room.**Absences, academic dishonesty**• I strictly follow the University policy • Absences – all must be documented • If scheduled (e.g. sports), bring paperwork within the first 10 days of classes • Illness: if possible, contact me before missed class or assignment; arrange for make-up (if necessary) within one week • Academic dishonesty • Zero-tolerance policy: all cases go to Honor Council • Plagiarism is most common problem in a class like this one