Key: FA = Ryden's & Peterson's  Foundations of astrophysics, and PU = Shu’s The physical universe. Occasionally material from DMW = Dan's other course websites, particularly that for AST 102, will provde useful reading.

 

Date

Subject

Reading

Stellar astrophysics: how stars work, and how we know.

1

17 January 2013

Approximations, scaling relations, and characteristic scales in astrophysics

 

2

22 January 2013

Observations of stars: distance and luminosity; color and temperature

FA 307-318; PU 159-166

3

24 January 2013

Observations of stars: binary star orbits, and the masses, radii and temperatures of stars

FA 61-78, 318-334; PU 179-191; DMW a

4

29 January 2013

Stellar structure: the example of the Sun as a self-gravitating, opaque, ideal gas, and the scaling of its properties to other normal stars; the Sun's atmosphere, chromosphere and corona

FA 336-359, 369-373, 172-192; PU 62-101

5

31 January 2013

6

5 February 2013

Nuclear-fusion energy production and nucleosynthesis in the cores of stars

FA 359-368; PU 102-123

7

7 February 2013

Seeing the invisible Solar interior: neutrino observations, stellar pulsations, and helioseismology

FA 402-407, 177-183

Stellar evolution: how stars live their lives, and the corpses they leave behind.

8

12 February 2013

Stillborn and dead stars: brown dwarfs, white dwarfs and neutron stars

FA 409-423; PU 125-134; DMW A B C

9

14 February 2013

Really dead stars: stellar-mass black holes

FA 423-426; PU 134-143; DMW D E F G H J

10

19 February 2013

Live stars: the life-cycles of stars of various masses

FA 398-402; PU 144-158

11

21 February 2013

Star clusters and stellar evolution

PU 166-178

The interstellar medium: the reservoir of material from which stars form, and to which they return material when they die.

12

26 February 2013

Interstellar dust:  scattering and absorption of light

FA 376-380; PU 211, 215-216, 16-19, 35-40

13

28 February 2013

Interstellar gas:  atomic and molecular spectral lines, interstellar clouds, the diffuse interstellar medium

FA 380-390; PU 214-239, 40-53

14

5 March 2013

The birth of stars from interstellar gas and dust.

FA 393-398; PU 245-254

15

7 March 2013

Midterm examination, covering all material introduced so far.

Normal galaxies: their structure and dynamics.

16

19 March 2013

The Milky Way: size, shape and contents; rotation and other internal motions; spiral structure.

FA 433-465; PU 255-285

17

21 March 2013

18

26 March 2013

19

28 March 2013

Normal galaxies: the Hubble sequence; distribution of light and mass in normal galaxies.

FA 467-482; PU 293-306

20

2 April 2013

The extragalactic distance scale: standard candles and rulers; Leavitt and the Cepheid distance scale; the Shapley-Curtis debate; spiral nebulae are galaxies.

FA 482-484; PU 286-293, 350-352

Galaxy clusters and unusual galaxies.

21

4 April 2013

Hubble's Law and distance measurements on cosmological scales; the huge luminosities of active galactic nuclei; supermassive black-hole AGNs and the Eddington limit to accretion.

FA 484-508; PU 306-332

22

9 April 2013

23

11 April 2013

Interacting galaxies, groups, clusters and superclusters

FA 511-525; PU 332-350

Cosmology: the structure and origin of the Universe.

24

16 April 2013

Observations of the large-scale structure of the Universe, the cosmic microwave background, and the Big Bang.

FA 526-533; PU 381-396

25

18 April 2013

General relativity and the Universe:  the Robertson-Walker metric and the Friedmann equation

FA 533-546; PU 350-368

26

23 April 2013

The large-scale structure of matter-dominated universes; age and fate.

FA 546-559; PU 368-380

27

25 April 2013

The new flat Universe: acoustic oscillations in the early Universe, cosmic background anisotropies, and dark energy.

FA 559-573; DMW K

28

30 April 2013

Midterm examination, emphasizing material introduced since the first exam.

29

10 May 2013

Final examination, covering all material introduced during the course.