Astronomy 1: Introductory Astronomy

Prof. David Cohen

Spring 2014
Tu., Th. 9:55 to 11:10
SC 128


Saturn Butterfly Nebula Abel 68


Click on each image for more information about these objects.



updated Apr. 16

The Milky Way in class on Thursday!


No SA session this week.

Looks like the Wednesday and Thursday night lab sections will both get to do the outdoor lab. It starts at 9pm. Come prepared!

No homework has currently been assigned, but expect one over the weekend, due on Friday, April 25.

Archive of old announcements.


updated Apr. 17

Before Tuesday's class, review the slides from the most recent class. And also read all of Ch. 19 carefully. We'll be focusing on: the Star-Gas-Star cycle, the contrasting properties of the disk and halo, the nature of interstellar gas and dust, and the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

updated Apr. 16

Start reading Ch. 19, on the Milky Way. Don't worry if you don't have it all read by class time on Thursday. We'll start discussing the material then, but will finish up next Tuesday.

The Wednesday and Thursday night sections will be trying to make up the second observing lab. Read that manual ahead of time, as there are quite a few different observations you'll be making, and you'll be comparing some of them to observations you made in the first observing lab.

Archive of old assignments.

Upcoming Events

There are telescope public viewings the second Tuesday of each month, at the Peter van de Kamp Observatory on the roof of the Science Center. The next one is on May 13, at 9 PM. Come on by, and bring a friend who isn't taking astronomy. The Moon and Jupiter will both be visible then, and Saturn may also be above the tree-line.


Class Information

Information about the class [pdf]

Guidelines for the class [pdf]

This syllabus will be updated periodically (new version posted Apr. 4).

office hours


Astronomy Picture of the Day

what's up in the sky this week

sky and weather information

Stellarium software

Powers of Ten

PhET orbit simulator

department website



This page is maintained by David Cohen
cohen -at-

Last modified: April 17, 2014