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Record of Class Meetings - Updated after Each Class

The textbook's table of contents is essentially the course outline. As a rule-of-thumb, we will move through the textbook at the rate of about 35 - 40 new pages each week. The first half of the semester probably will involve somewhat less than this number, while the second half probably will involve somewhat more. Try to avoid falling behing in your reading and study of the textbook.

Day, Date, and Activities Assignment
Day 1 (1/25/2018): Course introduction and overview; pdf file of pictures shown in class Read Chapter 1 and answer questions 1 - 10 on page 13. Also, try the scavenger hunt for this course.
Day 2 (1/30/2018): Development of some key astronomical ideas; regularites in the sky; determination of the Earth's shape and size; geocentrism; Ptolemy and epicycles; retrograde motion; Copernicus and heliocentrism; empiricism (observation) and rationalism (theory, logic); Tycho and Kepler; three laws of planetary motion; Galileo's work; evidence for why we believe what we believe about the movements of the planets and stars; pdf file of pictures shown in class Start studying Chapter 2
Day 3 (2/1/2018): Continue with development of background material; rationalism and empiricism as tools for understanding and predicting natural events; examples; Newton's early life and work; Kepler's law calculations with Vesta and Phobos; pdf file of pictures shown in class Continue studying Chapter 2, review the Kepler's law examples that are here, and do these practice exercises
Day 4 (2/6/2018): More on Kepler's laws and Newton's modifications; worked examples; Newton's later work; examples of motion of planets and stars; pdf file of pictures shown in class Complete study of Chapter 2, answer questions 1 - 18 on page 46, and do these practice exercises.
Day 5 (2/8/2018): Astronomy background for astrobiology; Milky Way characteristics; Milky Way components; Hubble's three contributions; the biggest thing in the Milky Way; stars and stellar evolution; fusion; supernovae; periodic table connections; pdf file of pictures shown in class Start studying Chapter 3, such as the first twenty pages
Day 6 (2/13/2018): Review of course so far; Newton (again) and gravitation; three types of nebulae; three parts of the solar system; three phases of matter; periodic table; atoms, molecules, and terminology; elements and compounds; astrochemistry; telescopes; spectroscopy (very important); characteristics of waves; electromagnetic spectrum; three common types of spectra; spectroscopy as a way to determine chemical composition; the Sun's spectrum; pdf file of pictures shown in class Continue studying Chapter 3
Day 7 (2/15/2018): Complete Chapter 3; atoms and atomic structure; spectroscopy and the three types of spectra; the Sun's spectrum; demonstration of the world's largest spectrum; molecules; spectra of molecules; how spectroscopy reveals the original composition of the solar system; review of solar system formation; demonstration of a hydrogen explosion; pdf file of pictures shown in class Complete study of Chapter 3 and answer questions 1 - 20 on page 100.
Day 8 (2/20/2018): Test #1 - Chapters 1 - 3 Start studying Chapter 4
Day 9 (2/22/2018): Chapter 4 topics such as formation of solar systems from dark clouds; accretion of material; types of planets; some key dates; ways to determine the dates; relative dates; Steno and the principle of superposition; examples; rocks and minerals; types of rocks; absolute dating; radioactivity; example; math details; Earth history (dates) projected onto a 24-hour clock; theories of the Moon's formation; impacts and outgassing; ultraviolet light and the early Earth; atmosphere of the early Earth; the Hadean eon; oldest rocks; differentiation; pdf file of pictures shown in class Start studying Chapter 4

Rough, tentative schedule follows -- stay alert for changes!

Watch for changes!
Day 10 (2/27/2018): Review from previous class period of key concepts such as accretion, superposition, dating, differentiation; how to recognize a differential equation; age of solar system; Hadean eon; heavy bombardment; Earth's interior; plate tectonics; stages in the evolution of Earth's atmosphere Finish studying Chapter 4
Day 11 (3/1/2018): TBA TBA
Day 12 (3/6/2018): TBA TBA
Day 13 (3/8/2018): TBA TBA
Day 14 (3/13/2018): TBA TBA
Day 15 (3/15/2018): TBA TBA
Spring Break is March 18 - 25 (Sunday to Sunday)
Final exam (entire book and course) at the day and time announced by the University of Maryland