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ASTR 1023 Lecture Topics
These are the headings of the paragraphs into which ASTR 1023 lectures are divided. Use
them to check your notes for completeness, and to see how the course is organized. It is also a
good idea to cross-check these topics with your reading assignments, because some topics are
not in the textbook.
Lecture 1
Basic Units / Sizes of Astronomical Objects / Characteristic Speeds / Nature of Science
Lecture 2
University Science / Pseudoscience / Religion / Astrology / UFOs
Lecture 3
The Terrestrial Globe / Apparent Magnitudes / Metric System and Powers of Ten /
Practice with Big Numbers / Percentages / Law of 72
Lecture 4
The Celestial Sphere / Altazimuth Coordinates / Equatorial Coordinates / The Fanciful,
Earliest Universes / The Geometric Greek Universes / Stagnation in Europe During the
Dark Ages / The Heliocentric Revival in Europe / Our Milky Way as the Universe / Our
Milky Way as One of Many
Lecture 5
Aristotle / Galileo / Newton / Newton and Orbits / Special Relativity
Lecture 6
Consequences of Special Relativity / General Relativity / Consequences of General
Lecture 7
Tests of Special Relativity / Tests of General Relativity / Electromagnetic (EM) Radiation
Lecture 8
Optical Telescopes / Telescope Properties / Binoculars / Naked-eye Observing
Lecture 9
UV, Optical, and IR Instruments / Radio Telescopes / Radio Interferometers / Flying
Telescopes / Atoms and Light / Continuous Spectra
Lecture 10
Line Spectra
Lecture 11
Spectra in Stellar & Galactic Astronomy / The Sun in General / The Layered Solar
Lecture 12
The Solar Wind / Solar Activity / Distances to Nearby Stars / Stellar Velocities in the
Milky Way / Stellar Proper Motions
Lecture 13
Luminosity / Observed (Apparent) Brightness / Apparent Magnitudes / Absolute
Magnitudes / Determination of Stellar Radii / Classification of Stellar Spectra
Lecture 14
The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram / Finding Stellar Distances via Spectroscopic "Parallax" /
Stellar Populations / Visual Binaries / Stellar Mass Determination
Lecture 15
Spectroscopic Binaries / Eclipsing Binaries / Stellar Mass Patterns / Stellar Density
Patterns / Constituents of the Interstellar Medium
Lecture 16
The ISM's Interactions with Light / Stars and Nebulae / Star Formation
Lecture 17
Energy Production in Normal Stars / The Proton-Proton Chain / Energy Flow from Stellar
Core to Surface / Hydrostatic Equilibrium / Main Stellar Evolution Phases / MainSequence Star Characteristics
Lecture 18
Giant Phase Phenomena / Testing of Predictions / Birth Mass Determines Stellar Evolution
/ Degeneracy / White Dwarfs / MS Stars Lighter Than the Sun / MS Stars Similar to the
Lecture 19
MS Stars Heavier Than the Sun / MS Stars Much Heavier Than the Sun / Supernova
Lecture 20
Novae and Supernovae in Binary Star Systems / Neutron Stars / Pulsars / Binary Pulsars
Lecture 21
Review of Newtonian Gravity / Schwarzschild Black Holes / Characteristics of the Milky
Way Galaxy / The MWG's Disk
Lecture 22
The MWG's Halo / The MWG's Nuclear Bulge / Chemical Composition Patterns in the
MWG / Galaxy Types / Galaxy Properties / Galactic Distance Measurement
Lecture 23
Galactic Distance Measurement (cont.) / Galactic Size Measurement / Galactic Mass
Measurement / Clusters of Galaxies / Superclusters, Walls, and Voids / Collisions of
Lecture 24
Galaxy Formation Hypotheses
Lecture 25
Characteristics of Active Galaxies / Main Types of Active Galaxies / Extreme Requirements
on Cores of Active Galaxies / The Black Hole + Accretion Disk Hypothesis for AGNs
Lecture 26
Review of Kinematic Redshifts / Cosmological Redshift-Distance Relationship / Discovery
of Quasars / Quasar Puzzles / The Quasar-Galaxy Connection / Quasars Described /
Some Ancient Creation Stories
Lecture 27
Fundamental Cosmological Questions and Assumptions / Observational Basis of Cosmology
/ Big Bang Cosmology: Best-Understood Aspects / Allowed Shapes for the Universe
Lecture 28
Ages of the Universe / Dimensions of the Universe / The Very Early Universe: Uncertain
/ Allowed Futures of the Universe / Observational Results / Is This True?
Lecture 29
Why Seek Life Beyond the Solar System? / Planetary Requirements for Life / The Drake
Equation / The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Lecture 30
Interstellar Space Probes / Human Travel to the Stars / Plausible Starship Engines