FYS 1850 (Astronomy 2020): The Heavens and Earth

Fall 2005

TTh : 13:55 - 15:25 1163 Old Main

This is a three credit course only open to First Year students which can be taken concurrently with the one credit lab, Astronomy 2011. Humans have a complex relationship with the sky. The things visible in it have inspired fear, longing, and always wonder. This seminar will explore this relationship and study how explorations of the heavens led to the progress in the sciences, and how events on earth both social and technical have changed our view of the heavens. We will review the history and practice of astronomy including breaking news. We will see how our understanding of the heavens grew from the ancients to the continuing revolution brought about by new ways to look at the sky. We can develop predictions about future progress in our exploration of the heavens by focusing on gaps in our present knowledge. Students will make presentations, lead discussions, and write a paper on topics of their own choosing.

Professor: David Cinabro(333 Physics, 313-577-2918, cinabro@physics.wayne.edu, http://motor1.physics.wayne.edu/cinabro.html)
Office Hours: 14:30-15:30 MW or by appointment
Texts: Handouts provided, The Cambridge Concise History of Astronomy by Hoskin (ISBN: 0521576008), The Book Nobody Read by Gingerich (ISBN: 0802714153), This New Ocean by Burrows (ISBN: 0375754857), The Extravagant Universe by Kirshner (ISBN: 069111742X).
Presentation and Discussion Leadership(33%)
Students will present and lead one class discussion on one topic on astronomy before the telescope, one topic from the history of modern astronomy, or one topic in contemporary astronomy. It is expected that students will go beyond the required texts in gathering and presenting such material.
Participation in Class Discussions(33%)
Students are expected to actively participate in all class discussions.
Paper(33%)
A written paper of at least five pages covering a topic mutually agreed upon by the instructor and the student. Students are encouraged to write papers on a topic in which they have led class discussions. Papers are due before 19 December at 4:00 PM.

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Day by Day in Class

Date Topic Reading Presentation Leader
6 Sep Introduction - - -
8 Sep Planetarium Visit I - - -
13 Sep Prehistoric and Egypt Handout 1 - -
15 Sep Mesopotamia Handout 2 - -
20 Sep Greek and Roman Handout 3 - -
22 Sep China, Japan, India Handout 4 - -
27 Sep America, Africa, Pacific Handout 5 - -
29 Sep Islam Handout 6 - -
4 Oct Medieval, Renaissance, Copernicus Handout 7, TBNR 1-5 - -
6 Oct Brahe, Kepler, Galileo + Visit to DPL TCCHA 94-119, TBNR 6-10 - -
11 Oct Newton and the Solar System + Prof. Vineberg TCCHA 119-167, TBNR 11-15 - -
13 Oct The Milky Way TCCHA 168-218 -
18 Oct The Sun and the Stars TCCHA 219-273 - -
20 Oct Galaxies and the Distance Ladder TCCHA 273-300 - -
25 Oct Cosmic Rays and Going Beyond Light TCCHA 306-317 - -
27 Oct Planetarium Visit II - - -
1 Nov Into Space TCCHA 317-322, TNO 1-3 - -
3 Nov Satellites TNO 4-6 - -
8 Nov Manned Space Flight TNO 7-9 - -
10 Nov Race to the Moon TNO 10-11 Hubble Space Telescope Kyle Lange
15 Nov Mars and the Grand Tour TNO 12-13 - -
17 Nov Cancelled - - -
22 Nov Limits to Infinity? TNO 14-16 Cassini Mission to Saturn Laureen Atty
22 Nov - - Fate of the Universe Smanthia Bryant
29 Nov Black Holes, Novas, and Bursters + Extra Terrestrial Life TEU 1-3 + Drake Equation Big Bang Heather Ziola
29 Nov - - Apollo Mission Jessica Hull - MIA
1 Dec Cosmology TCCHA 300-305, TEU 4-5 Stonehenge Aidan Kobek - MIA
1 Dec - - Cosmos TV Show Ariana Odabachian
6 Dec Dark Matter TEU 6-8 Nebula Jessica Foster
6 Dec - - Dark Matter Tyler Nelson
8 Dec Dark Energy TEU 9-11 Black Holes Misty Popovski
8 December - - Galileo Alphonso Page
13 Dec Predictions for the Future TNO 17 History of Telescope Kim Bates
13 Dec - - Big Bang Theory Aisha Kalimah


Last modified: Fri Dec 2 17:43:38 EST 2005