Rice University logo
 
 
 
 


 

Astronomy 201: Stars, Galaxies And The Universe


Course Outline


Overview: Celestial sphere, phases of the moon, seasons, eclipses,

timekeeping, calendar, celestial coordinates, constellations, GPS, navigation

The science of astronomy: Copernicus principle, Kepler’s laws, matter and energy,

Newton’s laws of motion, gravity, orbital motion, tides

Physics of light: atoms and radiation, spectral lines, Doppler effect, relativity, optics and telescopes, invisible light

Sun and stars: Properties, HRdiagram, birth, structure and evolution, element synthesis, chemicalevolution and life, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes

Galaxies: Milky Way, external galaxies, mass to light ratio, measuring cosmic distances, evolution

Large scale structure of the universe: Hubbleexpansion, dark matter, intergalactic space, big bang, early universe,cosmic microwave background, primordial helium and deuterium darkenergy and the flat universe

Life and intelligence outside Earth

 

Typical Organization

Lectures T Th 1:00 - 2:20 PM

Homework (40%)

Exams (50%)

Project (10%)

Text: Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit, The cosmic perspective t

Other resources: www.masteringastronomy.com

 

All information is representative only, and is likely to change from year to year.