ASTR220

Collisions in Space

Fall 2003

For basic course information, surf here.

NOTICE TO VISITORS: Material on this website is Copyright © 2003 by Derek C. Richardson and must not be reproduced without my express permission.


What's New?

  • 12/11: REMINDER: Final Exam Dec 15 at 8 am!
  • 12/11: HW#4 solutions added. Final exam review sheet posted.
  • 12/03: Class #25 notes added. Guest lecturer (Chris Reynolds) 12/09!
  • 12/02: Class #24 notes added.
  • 11/25: HW#3 solutions added. Quiz & solutions posted. Happy holidays!
  • 11/24: Class #23 notes and homework #4 added. Outline tweaked one last time.
  • 11/20: Class #22 notes added (no movies).
  • 11/19: Outline tweaked.
  • 11/19: Added new link (NASA Planetary Photojournal) -- check it out!
  • 11/18: REMINDER: Quiz Nov 25!
  • 11/18: Class #21 notes added.
  • 11/12: Class #20 notes added.
  • 11/11: Class #19 notes added.

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Syllabus

The complete syllabus is available in HTML, PDF, or Postscript format. Some useful excerpts:

Lectures:Tuesday, Thursday 11h00-12h15, CSS 2400
Required Text:Powell, Night Comes to the Cretaceous (1998)
Recommended Text:Bennett et al., The Cosmic Perspective (any edition)
Professor:Dr. Derek C. Richardson
Office:CSS 1249
Phone:301-405-8786
E-mail:astr220@astro.umd.edu
Office Hours:After class most days, by appointment, or drop by
Teaching Assistant:Raquel Fraga-Encinas
Office:CSS 0252
Phone:301-405-1553
E-mail:astr220@astro.umd.edu
Office Hours:TBA

Note: The syllabus documents are unchanged from the start of classes.
Check this page for any syllabus updates.

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Course Outline

Click on the links (where available) for the lecture notes.
(Note movies are not included.)

Images in the notes were collected from a variety of internet and private sources,
including Freedman & Kaufmann, Universe, 6th Edition (2002).
THESE NOTES MAY NOT BE REDISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PERMISSION.

No.DateLectureReading

#1Sep. 2Introduction to the course [ppt]
#2 4The structure and formation of the solar system [ppt]
#3 9Craters in the solar system [ppt] Preface & Prologue
#4 11The physics of collisions and crater formation [ppt]
#5 16The Earth's Moon [ppt] Chapters 1-3
-- 18Cancelled: Hurricane Isabel!
#6 23The nature of modern impactors: Comets and asteroids [ppt] Chapters 4-7
#7 25Two spectacular cases: SL9 and Tunguska [ppt]
#8 30Geological ages, life on Earth, and mass extinctions [ppt]
#9Oct. 2The K-T impact (the Alvarez theory) [ppt] Chapters 8-10
#10 7Other mass extinctions [ppt]
#11 9Nova episode ("The Doomsday Asteroid") and TLC excerpt ("Crater of Death")
#12 14Night Comes to the Cretaceous: In-class book discussion Chapters 11-13
#13 16Future impacts and assessment of risk [ppt]
#14 21Pre-exam review
-- 23Midterm Exam
#15 28Introduction to stars: The Sun [ppt]
#16 30Other stars [ppt]
#17Nov. 4Stellar evolution, Part I [ppt]
#18 6Stellar evolution, Part II [ppt]
#19 11The EM spectrum and the discovery of compact objects [ppt]
#20 13The Milky Way [ppt]
#21 18Other galaxies [ppt]
#22 20Galaxy collisions & galaxy formation [ppt]
#23 25The mass of galaxies and the need for dark matter [ppt]
-- 27Thanksgiving!
#24Dec. 2Supermassive black holes [ppt]
#25 4Active galactic nuclei [ppt]
#26 9Wormholes and timewarps (guest lecture)
#27 11Discussion and class review

Final Exam: Monday, Dec. 15, 2003, 08h00-10h00, CSS 2400
(check here for the official version)

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Homework

HW#DateAssignmentSolutions
AssignedDue
1Sep 9Sep 25handout [doc]solns [doc]
2Sep 25Oct 9handout [doc]solns [doc]
3Nov 4Nov 18handout [doc]solns [doc]
4Nov 25Dec 9handout [doc]solns [doc]

Remember: Homework must be readable, stapled, and signed.
Show all your work! Late homework will be penalized.

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Old Exams

DateReviewExam
Midterm 2003 HTMLdoc HTMLdoc
Final 2003 HTMLdoc HTMLdoc
(solutions available by request)

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Miscellaneous

Handouts given in class:

Handout #1Physical properties of the planets [doc]
Handout #2Formation of the solar system [doc]
Handout #3Energy and impacts [doc]
Handout #4Proportionalities and ratios [doc]

Quizzes given in class:

Quiz #1Quiz [doc]; solutions [doc]
Quiz #2Quiz [doc]; solutions [doc]

The Observatory Open House takes place in the evening on the 5th and 20th of every month.
Typically there is a popular lecture followed by viewing through the telescopes. Check it out!

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Useful Links

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Last modified: Dec 11, 2003 DCR