Earth Science 2150: The Solar System
This is a very exciting time for the exploration of
the solar system! Already we have returned samples of comet-stuff and landed a probe on Saturnís smoggy moon, Titan. Two robotic explorers
continue to study the surface of Mars - one after landing more than ten years ago. We have spacecraft in orbit around sun-baked Mercury, Venus, Earth,
Moon, Mars, and Saturn. Recently the main-belt asteroids Vesta and Ceres
were visited and a lander put on a comet; even distant Pluto has finally
received a spacecraft from Earth. There's never been a
better time to consider a course in the ultimate "environmental science" - planetary astronomy!
This course requires
no previous astronomy or physics background. The only math used is some geometry and algebra,
but no calculus. The emphasis is on giving you an introduction to the structure, origin, and evolution of the many worlds in our solar system.
And, youíll have the unique opportunity to use the 0.6-m telescope of the Grenfell Campus
Observatory as part of your coursework!
We will not describe the planets one by one.
Instead, youíll learn about processes such as the origin of planets and the evolution of their surfaces. By mastering a few basic concepts from several different
fields, you will be able to understand a remarkable variety of processes that affect the planets, including the Earth. What will this give you? A
knowledge of how planets evolve, of what governs their crustal structure and their surfaces, and of the nearly limitless resources of material
and energy that lie within our reach - knowledge that can help us live more successfully on and off the Earth.
Physics 3160: Galaxies & Cosmology
This course covers the structure and history of our own Galaxy, the properties of normal and active galaxies, their
formation and evolution. The second part of the course is an overview of cosmological models and their observational background, the
Big Bang, and the evolution and expansion of the Universe.
Physics 3160 is an upper year physics/astronomy course
Prerequisites: Physics 2056 and 2151 and Mathematics 2000. Physics 3220 is recommended.
Theoretical topics including celestial mechanics, continuous and line spectra, stellar structure and nucleosynthesis, and
stellar evolution. Observational topics include planning observations, acquisition of images with a CCD electronic camera, fundamentals of
astronomical image processing, photometry, and stellar spectroscopy using a variety of software packages.
Physics 3180 is an upper year physics/astronomy course.
Prerequisites: Physics 2056 and Mathematics 2000. Physics 2151 is recommended.
Some projects will be done with the Grenfell Observatory
telescope and its instruments, and will require students' participation at nightime observing sessions.