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Astronomy 117 B

Time: Monday and Wednesday 9:00-10:15
Location: Science 242


Astronomy 117B is an upper-division course covering the physics of stellar structure and evolution, star formation, the interstellar medium, galactic dynamics and evolution, and cosmology. This course counts toward your minor in astronomy. The minimum pre-requisites are the physics 50/51/52 series (or equivalent). Physics 2A/2B cannot substitute. This course does not presume that you have had any modern physics - we will cover what you need to know.

The book we will use is "Astronomy: A Physical Perspective," by Marc Kutner, published by Cambridge (2nd edition, 2004). It is out of print, so the bookstore is not able to order it. No biggie though - there are lots of used paperback copies available at Amazon, in the $40-50 range. I put my copy of the book on reserve at the library. There is also a library copy, if you have it out, please return it ASAP.


I have posted the activity for this Wednesday below. We will make an astrowheel which will allow you to find any stars and constellations on any night of the year, from our latitude. Read through this document and you will be ready to start right away on Wednesday. I will arrange for the astroglobes to be in 242 on Monday so we can finish our study of astronomical coordinate systems this week, and then get back to starts next week. I'll also update the greensheet schedule to reflect these changes.


The homework for Chapter 2 are problems # 2, 3, 4, 10, 13, 16, 17, 24, 30 on page 22-23. These are due on Wednesday in class.

Online Resources

For the cosmology section of this course, I have found Ned Wright's web pages invaluable. He's a cosmologist at UCLA. Check out the links below.