Textbook – “The Cosmic Perspective – Solar System” by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit Use any edition you can find, they’re all essentially identical. Later is better of course, but get any edition you can afford. This text is used only for the first ~half of the course. 2 nd half of course we’ll specialize on climate evolution of the Earth and you’ll use mostly the PowerPoints I’ve developed, and some supplementary web material I’ve written from assembled research.PowerPoints supplementary web material
Grading 6 mult. choice quizzes based on text, lectures, on-line material. - about 12 questions each - closed notes a video quiz, after seeing ~50min video program “Birth of the Earth”. Take notes and use them for your mult. choice quiz, about 20 questions. Might be a second video; we’ll see. Final Exam: 50 mult. choice questions. You may have a single 8x10 sheet of paper crammed with all the notes you can muster, hand-written only. Two lowest scores dropped. Those two dropped will include any no-shows. Don’t miss more than two quizzes because… There are No Make-ups! There are Extra Credit possibilities listed on syllabus Buy 10 green narrow scantron sheets from the book store. $3. Cheap! Keep them in your notebook along with a pencil. One Essay Question 68% Quizzes, 27% Final, 5% Essay
What will we Do in Astro 7? We start with my own “Chapter 0” on the principles of clear thinking and scientific method Then the nature of matter, light, and heat – some basic physics The origin of our solar system and its planets, and solar systems in general Planetary atmospheres and their evolution, and an introduction to how we infer the climate and atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system Then, the last half of the course will cover the climate of the Earth; it’s history, observational evidence, long term change for the future. And, we’ll look especially at the time in history about which we have the best data – current climate. We’ll examine the evidence for human- caused climate change, climate modelling, how the ocean, atmosphere, aerosols, clouds, ice, and solar energy interact. I’ll stress the observational facts and how we use scientific reasoning to arrive at how climate works, how we test them to home in on our current theories of the solar system. Exams will stress getting a picture of processes and the ‘why’ behind what we see, not as much on memorized factoids.