York University Faculty of Science and Engineering Department of Physics and Astronomy PHYS 1470 3.0 W11/12 Highlights of Astronomy Lecture Notes
3 January  2012
Welcome to the new term and to the course Highlights of Astronomy!

We talked about logistics and then started the course. Have a look at the slides. They are uploaded in PDF format.We started on Chapter 1.  It is advised to be prepared for the lectures by reading the material that will be covered in class in advance. Please read all of Chapter 1. We also learned about a scaled version of the solar system where the sun is shrunk to the size of 1 cm. Do you remember where the  planets are located in such a scaled-down solar system and how big they are? Where is the nearest star in such a system?

5 January  2012
We continued with Chapter 1.

10 January  2012
We continued with Chapter 1.

11 January  2012 tutorial
We had our first tutorial and covered the subjects of RA, decl, HA, LST, the vernal equinox. What are RA and decl.
of the vernal equinox? What are RA and decl. of the autumnal equinox? What are RA and decl of the sun on 21 September 2012?

12 January  2012
We had a fun quiz and started with Chapter 2.

17 January  2012
We continued with Chapter 2.

18 January  2012 tutorial
We talked about E_kin and E_pot, v_escape and v_c, the gravitational force and the centripetal force. Then we looked at some of the review question.

19 January  2012
We started with Chapter 3 and are now on p 78. Please note, that the slides sometimes cover more than the book, particularly when it comes to equations and computations. We had our first clicker quiz. The .pdf versions will be put on the web.

24 January  2012
We continued with Chapter 3.

25 January  2012 tutorial
We did some calculations based on Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

26 January  2012
We started Chapter 4.

31 January  2012
We finished Chapter 4 and started on Chapter 5. We are now on p. 139. We also figured out quantitatively
how large the contribution of the greenhouse effect is to the mean temperature of the Earth.
We learned about the moon, looked at the characteristics and singled out a few of them. We got to know about the most likely scenario for the formation of the moon. We then started on Chapter 5 and learned about Mercury.

1
February  2012 tutorial
We did some clever math to see the radial dependence of the tidal force between the Earth and the moon. We recollected why the moon shows us always the same side and why it spirals away from us -- slowly, very slowly so.

2 February  2012
We learned everything about Mercury, its origin, the 3-to-2 spin orbit coupling and the reason behind it, its interior and its surface.  We looked at Venus, its surface and the greenhouse effect and its strange retrograte spin. Then we focussed on Mars. We learned about the landscape of Mars, the atmosphere and that it is snowing on Mars, discovered with York's lidar system that was installed on the Phoenix lander. Look at the avalanch recorded recently by NASA.

7 February  2012
We started on Chapter 8 and covered Jupiter and its moons. Click here to see the red spot of Jupiter
in action. We are now on p 230.

8 February  2012 tutorial
We computed the energy release of an asteroid crashing on Earth and looked at some review questions.

9 February  2012
We covered the rest of Chapter 8. We learned about the ring structure of the  Jovian planets, talked about Saturn, Uranus and Neptun, and focused on Titan and Triton. Click here to see the video of  14 February  2012
We started on Chapter 6.

15 February  2012 tutorial

16 February  2012
We finished Chapter 6. The marks you have obtained so far are on the web. Have a nice and productive Reading Week!

28 February  2012
We started Chapter 7.

29 February  2012 tutorial
We looked at some review questions and did some calculations.

1 March
2012
We looked at the three steps of how hydrogen is fused into helium: the proton - proton chain. We did some calculations about the energy release through hydrogen burning.

6
March  2012
We finished Chapter 7 and started on Chapter 8.

7 March 2012 tutorial
We talked about lab assignment #1 and covered some questions from Chapter 7 and 8.

8 March  2012
We finished Chapter 8 and have covered Chapter 9 up to p 289. All the marks so far are on the web.
Attention: The midterm-makeup exam is on Monday March 12 at 4:00 to 5:15 pm in Farquharson 020.

13
March  2012
We worked on Chapter 9.

14 March 2012 tutorial
We talked about the midterm exam.

15 March  2012
We finished Chapter 9 and started Chapter 10. We are now on page 320.
Attention: For the Lab #1 assignment, you do not have to do any observations with a telescope. The
last sentence of the first paragraph  "While your analysis...." should be deleted from the Lab-exercise 1
assignment sheet. An updated version without that sentence is now on the web.

20 March  2012
We covered a good portion of cChapter 10.

21
March 2012 tutorial
We talked about assignment #2 and black holes.

22 March  2012
We finished Chapter 10 and started on Chapter 11. We are now on p. 380. The Lab #2 assignment and an updated table of the marks so far obtained are now on the web.

27 March  2012
We finished Chapter 11 and covered a good portion of Chapter 12.

28
March 2012 tutorial
We talked about lab#2 and the final exam.

29 March  2012
We finished Chapter 12 and Chapter 13. That is the end of the coourse. The marks obtained by you so far are on the web. See you for the final exam on 14 April.

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