Textbook and Materials
For this course we will use our own manual: you are required to buy a printed copy of the manual at Target Copy, 635 W. Tennessee St., tel. 224-3007, for approximately $15 + tax ("Target Packet" AST1002L Astronomy Lab, Spring 2012, Myers, Berg). You will also need a 30° planisphere (a star chart that shows which stars are visible on a given night), a calculator and a flashlight.
This course, which consists of outdoor and indoor labs, provides a hands-on introduction to astronomy as an observational science. In the outdoor labs you will learn how to make observations and measurements of planetary, stellar and galactic objects using either your unaided eyes, binoculars or a telescope. The indoor labs will acquaint you with the telescope, the coordinate system used to locate astronomical objects on the sky, the motion of objects in the sky and other basic concepts of astronomy. The schedule of labs for your section will be posted on the LABLOG webpage of the AST1002l website (see link below).We shall try to do as many outdoor labs as possible. Whether we do an indoor or an outdoor lab will be decided just before the scheduled time of the class. Hence you should bring the entire lab manual to class, so that you will be prepared for both possible labs, as will be specified in the LABLOG web page.
Co requisite: AST1002 or consent of instructor.
and Location of Classes
All labs take place during the scheduled evening class periods from 8pm to 10pm. For all labs we first meet in the classrooms of the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory (UPL) (Richards Building). The outdoor labs are then performed on the south side of the UPL building, with the following exception:
Dark Night Observation: For this lab we shall meet, as usual, in the UPL classrooms, then drive out of town to a site away from city lights where the sky is darker. The location will be announced in the classrooms.
Follow the links: www.physics.fsu.edu --> Undergrads --> Physics courses web page --> (Spring 2012) AST1002L.
An essential part of each lab is the completed lab report, i.e., one of the indoor or outdoor labs in your lab manual that you have brought to class, and that you will then fill in during the class. (No report is required during the first week of classes.) Your report must include your name, your section number and the name of your laboratory instructor. Reports must be turned in before the end of each laboratory period, with the exception:
At 9:50pm your laboratory instructor may choose to allow you to turn in the lab report by 5pm of the next day. These reports are to be deposited in the Astronomy box on the first floor of the Keen Building.
Your total grade is calculated from the following contributions: 20%, based on mini-quizes towards the end of the class, 70% based on the lab reports, and 10% based on a final quiz on the use of the telescope. (The breakpoints for converting your total percentage grade to letter grade will be 90 A/A-, 87.5 A-/B+, 85 B+/B, 80 B/B-, etc.) You are required to attend all laboratory sessions and complete 11 labs, with reports.
If you miss a lab, write your reason on this permission slip, sign it, and give it to your instructor. If your instructor accepts your reason you will be able to make-up the lab at the end of the semester, when we shall schedule at most 2 make-up labs for this purpose. However, to make-up 2 labs requires the agreement of both your lab instructor and one of the faculty members in charge of this course.
Warning: If you have 1 unexcused absence, your grade will be reduced by a full letter grade; 2 unexcused absences your grade will be reduced by 2 full letter grades.
If you have 3 or more unexcused absences you will fail the course.