Astronomy Program
Department of Physics & Astronomy

Syllabus - AY 102 - Introductory Astronomy Laboratory

Lab Rooms:   310 or 313 Gallalee Hall

Course Description:   One credit hour. Pre-requisite or co-requisite, AY101. Observation of sun, moon, and other daytime activities. Indoor exercises include stellar spectra, HR diagram, celestial sphere, and astronomical photographic analysis. (A student must take both AY101 and AY102 in order to use either one of these courses to satisfy a portion of the NS Core Curriculum requirement.)

Course Goals:   Students will: become familiar with scholarly and research methods; learn to use simple laboratory equipment in astronomical observations; understand the scientific method and critically evaluate scientific information. Students will develop skills in working together in team activities. Scholarly and research methods will be applied to understanding astronomical observational processes and topics: visual phenomena in the sky, as well as distance, temperature, mass, elemental composition determination of stars and galaxies.

Text:   AY 102 Astronomy Laboratory Manual. AY102 Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory Manual (most recent edition). You must bring your lab manual, a scientific calculator, and your registered clicker to each lab meeting. These items will not be supplied in the lab so bring your own! Your AY101 text and notes are required for lab preparation.

Lab Attendance:   Plan on spending at least 1 hour of preparation before each lab meeting. Students are required to:

  1. read through each lab (including the questions) before each lab session and review related sections of your AY101 notes or textbook;
  2. attend all labs, arrive on time, and be prepared for a pre-test and clicker questions as required by your instructor;
  3. take notes on the presentations given by the instructor and study your notes for the quizzes;
  4. complete all the lab exercises must be completed and handed in during the lab meeting;
  5. participate actively in group exercises & ask questions of the instructor if you do not understand all of an exercise.

Quizzes and Grading:   Your answers for all questions in a lab exercise will contribute to your grade. The average of your lab scores will be 60% of your course score. The average of the 3 scheduled quizzes during the semester, assessing your comprehension of the laboratory assignments, will be the remaining 40% of your course score. Lab and Quiz grades will be available in the next lab meeting. Graded lab exercises and quizzes will only be available in class or in your instructor's office. Course score = 60% * labs + 40% * quizzes.

Missed Quizzes:   If you have a scheduled conflict with a quiz on your scheduled lab meeting, you must inform your instructor (by email) before that regularly scheduled lab session. If you must miss a quiz due to an emergency (e.g. illness) you must present your instructor with a valid doctor's note or other appropriate excuse as soon as possible and within one week. Any makeup quizzes must be completed before the next regular meeting of your lab section.

Missed Laboratory Exercises:   Students may make up missed labwork by attending another lab section during the same week only after asking for permission of both your regular and the makeup lab instructor. You must fill out a tracking form (provided by the instructor) and return that form attached to your lab-work, to the instructor of the lab you attend. If you do not follow these instructions, your work will not receive credit. All missed lab exercises will be counted as 0 when computing your course score.

Make-up Lab:   It is possible to make up one missed lab score by completing the last lab exercise of the semester (which is otherwise optional). The third quiz is also scheduled for the last meeting of the semester, and is not optional.

Academic Honesty:   "Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically-related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help, another student commit an act of academic dishonesty; includes cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of invented or falsified citation of material, or misrepresentation of material related to academic matters." (refer to the University of Alabama Student Handbook)

Disability Statement:   If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment your lab instructor as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call (205) 348-4285 (Voice) or (205) 348-3081 (TTY) or visit 1000 Houser Hall to register for services. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services, 1000 Houser Hall, before receiving academic adjustments.

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last modified 2016 08 19 by Dr. M. Silverstone

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