Astronomy 29:62 - Spring
Prof. Philip Kaaret
702 Van Allen Hall
11am-noon & 2:30-3:30 pm, Friday 2:30-3:30 pm, or by appointment
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Physics and Astronomy
DEO: Prof. Mary Hall Reno
Office: 203 Van Allen Hall
General Astronomy is an introduction to some of the major ideas in
astronomy and astrophysics, intended for students
majoring in the physical sciences, mathematics, or engineering.
The course is a qualitative and quantitative introduction to properties
and evolution of the sun, stars, interstellar matter, black holes,
galaxies, and Universe. There is a required laboratory with
emphasis on observation with telescopes. The course is approved
as a General Education course in Natural Sciences with
- Lectures are from 1:30 to 2:20 PM Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays, in Lecture Room 70 of Van Allen Hall.
- Laboratories are from 7:00 - 9:00 pm Mondays or
Tuesdays in Room 666 Van Allen Hall. The laboratory is a required
part of the course. All students must take the laboratory.
Any student missing more than two labs will fail the laboratory part of
the course. Note that a passing
grade in the
laboratory is required to receive a passing grade in the course.
- There is no required textbook for the
course. The suggested textbook is Foundations of Astrophysics by
Ryden and Peterson.
- There is a website for the course: http://astro.physics.uiowa.edu/~kaaret/genastro11s.
lecture notes, and other
- Students are expected to attend all lectures.
Poor attendance is likely to affect success in the course.
- One hour examinations will be held during the
class period on February 23, March 30, April 27.
- The final examination will be held at 7:30 am
- Make-up examinations will be allowed only for
compelling circumstances, such as incapacitating illness or death in
the immediate family. Documentation of the circumstances will be
- The grade in the course will be determined as
follows. Each one-hour examination will count for 100
points. The final examination will count for 250 points.
Homework will count
for 200 points. The laboratory will count for
250 points, but note that a passing grade in the laboratory is required
to pass the course.
Up to 25 points of extra credit can be earned for particularly original
or substantial research projects carried out in the laboratory. The
final letter grade distribution will be
as recommended by the College.
- Homework will be due at the beginning of class
on the dates noted in the schedule. There will be 11 homework
Each student's overall homework score will be based on that student's
10 best homework scores. Students are allowed to work on the
homework in small groups. However, each student should be sure to
understand each homework problem. Students should feel free to
come during office hours to discuss the homework assignments.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of
this course and governs matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the
second-grade-only option, and other related issues. Different colleges
may have different policies. Questions may be addressed to 120
Schaeffer Hall, or see the CLAS Student Academic
University policy specifies that students are responsible for
all official correspondences sent to their University of Iowa e-mail
address (@uiowa.edu). Faculty and students should use this account for
correspondences. (Operations Manual, III.15.2.
A student seeking academic accommodations
should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet
privately with the course instructor to make particular arrangements.
for more information.
Plagiarism and any other activities when students present work
that is not their own are academic fraud. Academic fraud is a serious
matter and is reported to the departmental DEO and to the Associate
Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum. Instructors and DEOs
decide on appropriate consequences at the departmental level while the
Associate Dean enforces additional consequences at the collegiate
level. See the CLAS Academic Fraud section of the Student
Final exams may be offered only during
finals week. No exams of any kind are allowed during the last week of
classes. Students should not ask their instructor to reschedule a final
exam since the College does not permit rescheduling of a final exam
once the semester has begun. Questions should be addressed to the
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum.
Making a Suggestion or a Complaint
Students with a suggestion or complaint should first visit the
instructor, then the course supervisor, and then the departmental DEO.
Complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See the CLAS
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment subverts the mission of
the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and
staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold
this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances
learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported
immediately. See the UI Comprehensive
Harassment for assistance, definitions, and the
full University policy.
Reacting Safely to Severe Weather
In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate
shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if necessary. The class will
continue if possible when the event is over. For more information on
Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit the Public Safety web