ASTR (ASTR)

ASTR 151. Doing Astronomy. 1 Unit.

This course is intended to introduce students to how astronomy is done. The course will focus on the astronomical research process, the scientific community, and on career paths in astronomy. Course activities will include readings and class discussions focusing on various topics in modern astronomy, including ongoing research activity in the department. This course is largely intended for first- and second-year students considering majoring or minoring in astronomy, or pursuing a career in astronomy. Prereq: First- or second-year academic standing.

ASTR 201. The Sun and its Planets. 3 Units.

An overview of the solar system; the planets and other objects that orbit about the Sun and the Sun itself as the dominant mass and the most important source of energy in the solar system. Concepts and the development of our knowledge will be emphasized. Not available for credit to astronomy majors.

ASTR 202. Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. 3 Units.

Stellar structure, energy sources, and evolution, including red giants, white dwarfs, supernovae, pulsars, and black holes. Stellar populations in the Milky Way and external galaxies. The universe and its evolution. Not available for credit to astronomy majors.

ASTR 204. Einstein's Universe. 3 Units.

This course is intended to introduce the non-scientist to the concepts of modern cosmology--the structure and evolution of the universe. No mathematical background beyond simple algebra is needed.

ASTR 206. Life in the Universe. 3 Units.

This course is intended to introduce the non-scientist to the field of astrobiology - the interdisciplinary study of, and the search for, extraterrestrial life and the conditions for extraterrestrial life in the Universe. We will explore questions such as: How did life begin on Earth? What conditions are necessary for life to survive? What conditions are required for the long-term habitability of the Earth? Can life exist elsewhere in our Galaxy? Students may receive credit for ASTR 206 or USNA 217 (Astrobiology), but not for both.

ASTR 221. Stars and Planets. 3 Units.

Stellar structure and energy production. Formation and evolution of stars. Supernovae, neutron stars, and black holes. Star clusters. Planetary systems and the detection of extrasolar planets. The application of physical laws to the study of the universe. Prereq: MATH 122 or MATH 126.

ASTR 222. Galaxies and Cosmology. 3 Units.

The Milky Way Galaxy. Structure, dynamics, and evolution of galaxies. Galaxy clusters and large scale structure of the Universe. Physical cosmology and the Big Bang. Evolution of the Universe. Prereq: ASTR 221.

ASTR 306. Astronomical Techniques. 3 Units.

This course covers the techniques astronomers use to conduct research, including observations using ground-and space-based telescopes, computer simulations and other numerical methods, and statistical data mining of large on-line astronomical datasets. Offered as ASTR 306 and ASTR 406. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar. Prereq: ASTR 222.

ASTR 309. Astrophysics Seminar I. 1 Unit.

Selected topics in astronomy not covered ordinarily in courses. Presentation of talks by the students.

ASTR 310. Astrophysics Seminar II. 1 Unit.

Selected topics in astronomy not covered ordinarily in courses. Presentation of talks by students.

ASTR 311. Stellar Physics. 3 Units.

Radiative transfer, atomic and molecular opacities, and the observable properties of stars. Stellar interiors, nuclear processes, and energy generation. The evolution of stars of varying mass and production of the elements within supernovae explosions. Offered as ASTR 311 and ASTR 411. Prereq: ASTR 222.

ASTR 323. The Local Universe. 3 Units.

The Milky Way Galaxy. Galaxy populations. Quantitative structure and dynamics of galaxies. The interstellar media of galaxies. Dark matter and stellar populations. The Local Group and Virgo cluster. Offered as ASTR 323 and ASTR 423. Prereq: ASTR 222.

ASTR 328. Cosmology and the Structure of the Universe. 3 Units.

Distances to galaxies. The content of the distant universe. Large scale structure and galaxy clusters. Physical cosmology. Structure and galaxy formation and evolution. Testing cosmological models. Offered as ASTR 328, PHYS 328, ASTR 428, and PHYS 428. Prereq: ASTR 222.

ASTR 333. Dark Matter. 3 Units.

This course will systematically explore the evidence for dark matter in the universe. Necessary physical theory and astronomical concepts will be developed as appropriate. Topics to be covered include gravitational dynamics, gravitational lensing, and hydrostatic equilibrium as probes of the gravitational potentials of extragalactic systems. Examples include the rotation curves of spiral galaxies, the Oort discrepancy in the local Galactic disk, the dynamics of pressure supported dwarf and giant elliptical galaxies, and the Local Group timing problem. In clusters of galaxies, the mass discrepancy is illustrated separately by measured velocity dispersions, the hydrostatic equilibrium of the hot intracluster medium, and both strong and weak gravitational lensing. On cosmic scales, the course will address evidence from the gravitating and baryonic mass content of the universe, the growth of large scale structure from the initially smooth cosmic microwave background, and the existence of large voids and large scale bulk flows. The course will describe the various dark matter halo models commonly employed and introduce the techniques of mass modeling. We will examine hypotheses for the nature of dark matter, both baryonic and non-baryonic, and discuss strategies for experimental detection of plausible dark matter candidates. Theories that seek to explain the observed mass discrepancies by means of modifying the Law of Gravity rather than invoking dark matter will be explored. Offered as ASTR 333 and ASTR 433. Prereq: PHYS 310 or requisites not met permission.

ASTR 351. Astronomy Capstone Project. 1 - 3 Units.

A two semester course (1 hour in the Fall Semester and either 2 or 3 hours in the Spring Semester) for students desiring a Capstone Experience in astronomy. Students pursue a project based on experimental, theoretical or teaching research under the supervision of an astronomy faculty member. A departmental Capstone Project Committee must approve all project proposals (by the end of the Fall Semester) and this same committee will receive regular oral and written progress reports. Final results are presented at the end of the semester as a paper in a style suitable for publication in a professional journal as well as an oral report in a public symposium. Counts as SAGES Senior Capstone. Prereq: ASTR 222.

ASTR 369. Undergraduate Research. 1 - 3 Units.

Supervised research on topics of interest. Can be used as a thesis course if desired. Students may register more than once for a maximum of 9 credits overall (1-3 credits each semester).

ASTR 396. Special Topics in Astronomy. 1 - 3 Units.

Open to astronomy majors only.

ASTR 406. Astronomical Techniques. 3 Units.

This course covers the techniques astronomers use to conduct research, including observations using ground-and space-based telescopes, computer simulations and other numerical methods, and statistical data mining of large on-line astronomical datasets. Offered as ASTR 306 and ASTR 406. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar.

ASTR 411. Stellar Physics. 3 Units.

Radiative transfer, atomic and molecular opacities, and the observable properties of stars. Stellar interiors, nuclear processes, and energy generation. The evolution of stars of varying mass and production of the elements within supernovae explosions. Offered as ASTR 311 and ASTR 411.

ASTR 423. The Local Universe. 3 Units.

The Milky Way Galaxy. Galaxy populations. Quantitative structure and dynamics of galaxies. The interstellar media of galaxies. Dark matter and stellar populations. The Local Group and Virgo cluster. Offered as ASTR 323 and ASTR 423.

ASTR 428. Cosmology and the Structure of the Universe. 3 Units.

Distances to galaxies. The content of the distant universe. Large scale structure and galaxy clusters. Physical cosmology. Structure and galaxy formation and evolution. Testing cosmological models. Offered as ASTR 328, PHYS 328, ASTR 428, and PHYS 428.

ASTR 433. Dark Matter. 3 Units.

This course will systematically explore the evidence for dark matter in the universe. Necessary physical theory and astronomical concepts will be developed as appropriate. Topics to be covered include gravitational dynamics, gravitational lensing, and hydrostatic equilibrium as probes of the gravitational potentials of extragalactic systems. Examples include the rotation curves of spiral galaxies, the Oort discrepancy in the local Galactic disk, the dynamics of pressure supported dwarf and giant elliptical galaxies, and the Local Group timing problem. In clusters of galaxies, the mass discrepancy is illustrated separately by measured velocity dispersions, the hydrostatic equilibrium of the hot intracluster medium, and both strong and weak gravitational lensing. On cosmic scales, the course will address evidence from the gravitating and baryonic mass content of the universe, the growth of large scale structure from the initially smooth cosmic microwave background, and the existence of large voids and large scale bulk flows. The course will describe the various dark matter halo models commonly employed and introduce the techniques of mass modeling. We will examine hypotheses for the nature of dark matter, both baryonic and non-baryonic, and discuss strategies for experimental detection of plausible dark matter candidates. Theories that seek to explain the observed mass discrepancies by means of modifying the Law of Gravity rather than invoking dark matter will be explored. Offered as ASTR 333 and ASTR 433.

ASTR 497. Special Topics in Astronomy. 1 - 3 Units.


ASTR 601. Research. 1 - 18 Units.

Original research under the guidance of the staff.

ASTR 651. Thesis M.S.. 1 - 18 Units.

(Credit as arranged.)

ASTR 701. Dissertation Ph.D.. 1 - 9 Units.

(Credit as arranged.) Prereq: Predoctoral research consent or advanced to Ph.D. candidacy milestone.