ASTRON 103 — THE EVOLVING UNIVERSE: STARS, GALAXIES, AND COSMOLOGY

3 credits.

The cosmos is vast, mysterious, and beautiful. Join us on an exploration of the universe, from the big bang to the birth, life, and death of stars and the warped reality of black holes. Includes lifecycles of stars; supernovae and creation of elements; white dwarfs, pulsars and black holes; the Milky Way and galaxies; distances of stars and galaxies; quasars; expansion of universe; modern big bang cosmology, dark matter, dark energy. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 104 — OUR EXPLORATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM

3 credits.

Humanity is linked to the solar system in countless ways. Our view of the solar system, how planets form, and how planetary systems evolve has fundamentally changed with the discovery of countless exoplanets around other stars. Join us in exploring the modern view of the solar system and its relation to other planetary worlds. Includes the sky and celestial motions; ancient astronomy; the Copernican revolution; gravity, orbits, and interplanetary travel; formation of solar system; survey of sun, planets and moons; asteroids, meteors and comets; origin of life. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 140 — EARTH 2.0: THE EXOPLANET REVOLUTION

3 credits.

Our Galaxy contains about 100 billion stars. Most of these stars have planets as diverse and as fascinating as the worlds in our own neighborhood, the solar system. Learn about the study of planets and exoplanets, probing some of the deepest questions science and philosophy grapple with. Explore the ways in which scientists search for and analyze planets orbiting distant stars, both in the classroom and in hands-on laboratory experiences. From moons to super-Jupiters, this course provides an engrossing introduction into the brand new science of exoplanet research. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 150 — TOPICS IN ASTRONOMY

2 credits.

Intensively study selected topics of modern astronomy. Examples include missions to the planets, formation of stars and planets, end states of stellar evolution (supernovae, white dwarfs, pulsars, black holes), origin and evolution of the universe. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON/​GEOSCI  160 — LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE

2 credits.

An examination of the origin and evolution of life in the universe based on our knowledge of astronomy, biology, and geology. Includes discussions on the search for extraterrestrial life and the history of life in our solar system. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 170 — THE DARK SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE: THE GREAT COSMIC MYSTERIES FROM BLACK HOLES TO DARK ENERGY

3 credits.

Some of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos reside in what astrophysicists call "the dark sector". This course explores the nature of black holes, dark matter, and dark energy, which show us nature at its most extreme, taking you from the warping of spacetime and the launching of plasma beams around black holes to the acceleration of the cosmos that indicates the presence of some yet unknown form of energy. Learn about the fundamental laws of nature that govern everything from GPS satellites that enable navigation apps on your cell phone to the birth and ultimate fate of the universe. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 199 — DIRECTED STUDY

1-3 credits.

Introductory mentored independent study as arranged with faculty. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 200 — THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE

3 credits.

Modern astrophysics involves applying physical principles to understand astronomical phenomena. Includes the solar system, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and cosmology, with emphasis on origins and evolution. Some nighttime observation with telescopes required. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON/​HIST SCI  206 — HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY AND COSMOLOGY

3 credits.

The development of astronomical knowledge and cosmological views from the earliest times to the present, viewed in their social, philosophical, and technological contexts. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 236 — THE HISTORY OF MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE

3 credits.

Multidisciplinary study of how the distribution of elements in the Universe has changed over the last 10-15 billion years by tracing the history of matter from the Big Bang to the present composition of the Earth. Emphasizes connections between astronomy, geology, and chemistry. Readings will draw both on scientific journals and the popular press to allow us to engage the material on multiple levels. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 310 — STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS

3 credits.

Properties of normal and peculiar stars as found from an analysis of the radiation they emit; introduction to radiation transfer. Theory of stellar atmospheres, interiors, and evolution. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 320 — THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM

3 credits.

Properties of neutral and ionized interstellar gas, giant molecular clouds, the warm and hot intercloud medium, supernova remnants, and interstellar dust. Physical processes in low density gases including radiation transfer, excitation and ionization of interstellar atoms and molecules, and the interaction between gas and dust. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 330 — GALAXIES

3 credits.

Distribution of stars, gas, and dust within our Milky Way, and their motions. Nearby galaxies: our Local Group. Optical, radio, and other techniques for observing galaxies. Composition and motions of other galaxies; galaxies with active nuclei; galaxy formation. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 335 — COSMOLOGY

3 credits.

Introduction to the study of our Universe as a whole. Distribution of matter on the largest scales. Equations for cosmic expansion; making observations in an expanding curved spacetime. Nucleosynthesis and other tests of the Big Bang hypothesis. Gravitational collapse and the growth of structure. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 340 — SOLAR SYSTEM ASTROPHYSICS

3 credits.

Properties of solar system objects, solar atmospheric phenomena, physics of planetary atmospheres, results of recent planetary missions, comets, origin of the solar system. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 460 — EXPERIENCES IN ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVING

1 credit.

A basic introduction into astronomical research by undertaking a small observing project with optical and/or radio telescopes. Topics covered are: understanding the astronomical literature, observing and data reduction, writing scientific reports and papers, presenting scientific results, and basics of scientific ethics. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 500 — TECHNIQUES OF MODERN OBSERVATIONAL ASTROPHYSICS

3 credits.

An introduction to astrophysics data collection. Students will be familiarized with the concepts, techniques, skills and resources needed to plan, obtain, reduce and interpret observations of astronomical objects. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 510 — RADIO ASTRONOMY LABORATORY

2 credits.

An introduction to the techniques of modern observational radio astronomy. The course covers fundamentals of radio astronomy, modern radio instrumentation, and observing techniques, through a mixture of classroom lectures, discussions, and hands-on observational projects with a small radio telescope. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON/​E M A  550 — ASTRODYNAMICS

3 credits.

Coordinate system transformations, central force motion, two body problem, three and n-body problem, theory of orbital perturbations, artificial satellites, elementary transfer orbits, and elementary rocket dynamics. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 620 — SEMINAR IN ASTROPHYSICAL TOPICS

1-3 credits.

Current problems; topic changes. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 681 — SENIOR HONORS THESIS

3 credits.

Individual study for seniors completing theses for honors in the major as arranged with a faculty member. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 682 — SENIOR HONORS THESIS

3 credits.

Individual study for seniors completing theses for honors in the major as arranged with a faculty member; continuation of ASTRON 681. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 691 — SENIOR THESIS

2-3 credits.

Individual study for seniors completing theses as arranged with a faculty member. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 692 — SENIOR THESIS

2-3 credits.

Individual study for seniors completing theses as arranged with a faculty member; continuation of ASTRON 691. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 699 — DIRECTED STUDY

1-6 credits.

Directed study projects for juniors and seniors as arranged with a faculty member. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 700 — BASIC ASTROPHYSICS I

2 credits.

Thermodynamics, atomic and molecular spectra, ionization and excitation, line and continuum opacities. Synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, X-ray spectra. Radiative transfer, simple model atmospheres, radiative and convective energy transport. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 702 — BASIC ASTROPHYSICS II

2 credits.

Basic particle and fluid dynamics of stellar and gaseous systems in astrophysics. Review of gravitational dynamics, 2-body relaxation, phase space, basic equations of fluid dynamics, waves, shocks, winds accretion, instabilities. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 715 — STELLAR INTERIORS AND EVOLUTION

2 credits.

Physical principles, equilibrium of gaseous spheres, energy transport, energy generation, nucleosynthesis, main sequence red giant and electron degenerate stars. Advanced topics such as origins of stellar variability, binary star evolution, star formation, supernovae explosions, evolution with mass loss. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 720 — THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM I: BASIC PROCESSES

2 credits.

Observational techniques for interstellar medium studies, overview of the role of interstellar gas in galaxies, dynamics, energetics, major theories of structure and evolution, introduction to star formations and supernova remnant evolution. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 730 — GALAXIES

2 credits.

Stellar content and dynamics of the Milky Way and other galaxies; galaxy types, evolution of normal galaxies, active nuclei, quasars, radio galaxies. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 735 — OBSERVATIONAL COSMOLOGY

2 credits.

Extragalactic distance scale; groups and clusters of galaxies; distribution of galaxies and radio sources. Introduction to general relativity, cosmological models, microwave background, early universe, galaxy formation. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON/​PHYSICS  910 — SEMINAR IN ASTROPHYSICS

0-1 credits.

Current topics in astrophysics. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 920 — SEMINAR-ASTROPHYSICAL TOPICS

1-3 credits.

Current problems; topic changes. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 990 — RESEARCH AND THESIS

1-12 credits.

Advanced level mentored reading and research for graduate students. Enroll Info: None

ASTRON 999 — ADVANCED INDEPENDENT READING

1-2 credits.

Advanced level mentored reading and research for graduate students. Enroll Info: None