GO130 Astronomy

for FA 2009

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GO 130 Astronomy


FA 2009 HO


Berg, Steve


Adjunct Faculty


Master of Science, Astronomy

Other Phone





Semester Dates

August 17 to December 11, 2009

Class Days


Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM



Credit Hours



Universe 7e by Freeman & Kaufmann, published by W. H. Freeman and Company, ISBN 0-7167-8694-X  
Universe 6e
by the same authors is also acceptable, and may be available on line at reduced cost (ISBN 0-7167-4647-6).

Additional Resources:
Other items needed are:  a small calculator (needs to be able to do powers and roots--25^3), a lab notebook (or section in a loose-leaf notebook), a flash drive or other computer storage media.  A small flashlight would also be helpful.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
GO130 Astronomy (MGE): This course will study the complexities of the universe. It will examine the physical, chemical and meteorological, and geological aspects of the universe, including planets, suns, asteroids, and nebulas. 3:3:4

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's educational philosophy is to combine lcture with visual illustrations and demonstrations to reinforce learning of the course material.  Labs include demonstrations and practical applications of the course content, again to reinforce learning.  Outside reading and written homework are coordinated with classroom lectures and activities, again to reinforce learning.  Larger projects are intended to serve as practical, hands-on applications of the scientific principles studied, and to bring the abstract into the more understandable concrete.  Exams serve to assess both the students mastery of the material and the effectiveness of the course presentation. Classes will include lectures, slide demonstrations, discussions.  Labs will focus on observation technics and small group work.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Define and predict celestial phenomena.
  2. Compute orbits of planets and stars and sizes of black holes.
  3. Calculate possible atmospheres around planets and structures and compositions of stars, planets and nebula.
  4. Apply the scientific method to various ideas on space to show how ideas are tested and verified.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will learn basic theories of astronomy pertaining to celestial mechanics, the nature and structure of our solar system, the life cycle of stars and how they are powered, the structure of galaxies, and the origins of the universe.
  2. As weather allows, labs will be devoted to actual observations of celestial objects, with students learning how to read star maps, find objects in the sky and recognize and identify them.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Assessment of mastery of course material by the student will be determined from the understanding demonstrated in homework review questions, and exam results.  A research project will be used to demonstrate mastery of comprehension of more advanced scientific principles.  Participation in lab work hands-on activities produces the expected learning, provided only that the student is present and actively involved.


15%  Final Exam
30%  Other Tests (3)
20%  Homework.  Must be turned in on time for full credit
15%  Research Paper
20%  Lab participation:  Active participation and cooperation earns full credit for each lab period.  Each unexcused absence will reduce your lab grade by 10%
Final grades will be assigned by total points weighted according to the above percentages with an A (90%), B (80%), C (70%), D (60%), and F (less than 60%).

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Acceptance of homework after the due date without prior approval of the instructor will be at the discretion of the instructor, and will be subject to a penalty in points earned.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students should read assigned material prior to class and be prepared to ask questons and work example problems in class, where participation and questions are encouraged.  Attendance is mandatory for both labs and classes, and students are expected to attend all classes for the full class period, and to submit all homework in a timely manner.  Absences will be excused at the discretion of the instructor for legitimate reasons (illness, etc.).  The lab grade will be determined on attendance and participation.  If the student participates properly, the grade will be an 'A.'  Assignments are to be prepared in written or printed out form and brought to class, not emailed to the instructor.  Computer and printer malfunctions will not be considered acceptable excuses for late assignments.  The instructor recommends that work be saved on portable media, such a floppy disk or flash drive.  Similarly, when the class uses the computer lab, work should be saved on portable media, not just sent by email.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Weeks 1-4:  Chapters 1-5
Weeks 5-8:  Chapters 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15   (6e:  7, 9, 12, 13, 14)
   Midterm Recess
Weeks 9-12:  Chapters 18-22
Weeks 13-15:  Chapters 23-26, selections from 28 and 30
   Final Exam, Week 16

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:8/10/2009 11:18:41 PM