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ASTR110: Introduction to Astronomy Professor: Jon Holtzman TAs: Sten Hasselquist, Laura Mayorga MWF 11:30-12:20 M02: M 3:30-5:30 M03: T 1:30-3:30 M04:

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Presentation on theme: "ASTR110: Introduction to Astronomy Professor: Jon Holtzman TAs: Sten Hasselquist, Laura Mayorga MWF 11:30-12:20 M02: M 3:30-5:30 M03: T 1:30-3:30 M04:"— Presentation transcript:

1 ASTR110: Introduction to Astronomy Professor: Jon Holtzman TAs: Sten Hasselquist, Laura Mayorga MWF 11:30-12:20 M02: M 3:30-5:30 M03: T 1:30-3:30 M04: T 3:30-5:30

2 Plan for today Motivation – Why is astronomy interesting? – A brief history of the Universe – Is astronomy relevant? Goals for the class Class logistics

3 Why is astronomy interesting? A question to think about What substance (molecule) are people mostly made of? A. Fat B. Water C. DNA D. Protein Answer: herehere People are mostly water! (98% of molecules)

4 People as atoms What element are people mostly made of (If you could count the number of each type of atom in your body, which one would get the most of)? A. Hydrogen B. Carbon C. Nitrogen D. Oxygen E. Iron Answer: herehere Water is H 2 O, so people are mostly Hydrogen (63%), then Oxygen (24%)

5 People by weight Different atoms are made up of different numbers of protons and neutrons, and thus have different masses (protons and neutrons have about the same mass and electrons hardly count for any mass). – Hydrogen: 1 proton – Carbon: 6 protons + 6 neutrons – Nitrogen: 7 protons + 7 neutrons – Oxygen: 8 protons + 8 neutrons What element makes up most of the mass of people? A. Hydrogen B. Carbon C. Nitrogen D. Oxygen E. Iron Oxygen (>50% of mass!)

6 Where do we come from? When were the oxygen atoms in our bodies assembled (when were the protons, neutrons, and electrons put together? A.Within the past day, e.g. from food you ate B.Within the past century, e.g. when you were born C.When the Sun and Earth were formed, about 4.5 billion years ago D.Before the Sun was formed but after the beginning of the Universe E.They have existed since the beginning of the Universe

7 A (very) brief history of the Universe Universe hasn’t always been the same: our Universe “started” about 14 billion years ago as pure energy After a few minutes, atoms were formed, but contents were very different: hydrogen, helium, bit of lithium and beryllium Early matter formed into stars – Stars are nuclear reactors: elements are changed into others by nuclear fusion in their cores, producing energy (light) in the process – Stars have lives and some, when their lives are done, explode! Material from inside the star is released and mixes with other gases New stars are formed Around many stars some bits are left over and form into planets On some (at least one!) planets life evolves from the raw material. Through all different sorts of processes (geological, chemical, biological), atoms are rearranged in and out of molecules, but not created or destroyed (with just a few exceptions, namely, radioactivity) On (at least) one planet, humans come into existence! – We study the stars

8 Where do we come from? When was the oxygen in our bodies assembled into atoms (when were the protons, neutrons, and electrons put together? A.Within the past day, e.g. from food you ate B.Within the past century, e.g. when you were born C.When the Sun and Earth were formed, about 4.5 billion years ago D.Before the Sun was formed, but after the beginning of the Universe E.They have existed since the beginning of the Universe

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10 Human connection with astronomy – We come from stars! – Humans have used observations of stars – Humans are affecting astronomical objects Astronomy is at an exciting time Astronomy is a crossroads science (geology, chemistry, physics, and math all play a role) Telescopes are “time machines” and astronomers are “time travellers” New Mexico is a great place to look at the sky Why is astronomy interesting?

11 Is astronomy practical/relevant? Certainly, some aspects of astronomy have been relevant for humans (agriculture, navigation, technology spinoff) Things we study may be very relevant (temperature of Venus, dark energy?) Astronomy is a phenomenon in our everyday life (Sun, Moon, and sky) Astronomy is a science, and understanding how science works is critical to have meaningful impact on issues that affect humans Is curiousity, or even more broadly, non-survival skills, irrelevant? What’s the purpose of learning/college?

12 Goals: Why are you taking this class? A.General education requirement B.Thought that astronomy was interesting C.Heard you were a great professor D.Heard this was an good/easy class E.Other

13 Goals for the class NM general education goals, laboratory science – Describe the process of scientific inquiry – Solve problems scientifically – Communicate scientific information – Apply quantitative analysis to scientific problems – Apply scientific thinking to real world problems Question: what do you think about General Education requirements, in particular the lab science? Question: – Discuss: does your group have a consensus opinion or not? – Identify a few key points – Have someone prepared to present concisely My views on general education, and college education in general

14 My goals for the class Have you come out of class thinking astronomy is more interesting than when you started Get you to be curious about what you see around you: understand the astronomical phenomena of everyday life Communicate some of the interesting things we’ve learned about our Universe, and especially, how we’ve learned them Understand how science works

15 Class logistics Read the syllabus! Class components – Mon/Wed/Fri classes – Labs : groups + individual summaries TAs: Sten Hasselquist (M02, M04) and Laura Mayorga (M03) – In class questions / attendance – Online homework: Canvas. Weekly, due Friday class time. – Campus Observatory: twice per semester – Midterms: two – Final

16 Clicker registration Names will come by in batches of five, in alphabetical order When you see your name, hit the Letter button (A-E) that is listed after it. Another letter will appear. Hit that letter button You have 10 seconds! Don’t worry if you screw up!

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18 How to do well in this class How much time do you think you should you spend on this class, outside of class time and lab time? A.Less than one hour per week B.One to three hours per week C.Three to five hours per week D.More than five hours per week?

19 How to do well in this class Be interested in the material: think about it! Spend one-three hours per week outside of class: homework, lab summary, reviewing material, reading, looking ahead is ideal Come to class! Ask questions. Online homework: pay attention to answers! Labs: read beforehand!, use TAs, good summaries, on-time Homework, labs, midterm/finals: write legibly with good language skills. Read your own writing, preferably out loud! No zeros!

20 Resources Class web page / class notes (accessible via Canvas) Textbook: none, but we will be consulting resources on the web. Paper textbooks available for loan! Classmates TAs Professor

21 Class outline I. Introduction: Astronomy and Science II. Overview of the Universe III. Motions in the Sky: Astronomy By Eye IV. The Physical Basis of Astronomy: Gravity and Light V. Some interesting astronomy questions

22 To do Homework – Read the syllabus – Check out the class web site (accessible via Canvas)web site – Learn your directions: north, south, east, west: no matter where you are, inside or out, be able to get them right – Do the online assessment on Canvas -- automatic 100% for a homework assignment; just want to know what you know/think, don’t look anything up! For lab – Get lab manual: bring $10 to lab – Clickers will be supplied but if you have an iClicker, bring it


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