ASTR 122

Fall Quarter 2007

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 11:30 in Pacific 123.

This is a one quarter course on astronomy in which we cover the the birth, life, and death of stars. I recommend taking a full year course by taking also ASTR 121 on the solar system and ASTR 123 on galaxies and the history of the universe.


You can send me emails with questions or comments on the course. If I can respond to a question briefly, I will (although perhaps not instantly). If the answer is lengthy or subtle, I will suggest that you come to see me.

Teaching assistants:


The class meets from 10:00 to approximately 11:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a five minute break halfway through the class.


There are also web based notes, which you have probably found if you are reading this on your computer screen. The notes may be found at


There will be homework for you to do electronically during the week following each class, starting at the end of the second week of class. The homework will have the form of two multiple choice quizzes. See the quiz page .


Inevitably, there will be a few students who miss an exam because of illness or for similar reasons. If the student has a good reason, my policy is to give a makeup exam as soon as possible after the scheduled exam. The makeup exam is similar to the regular exam except that it includes a component in which I ask questions of the student orally. Only in exceptional circumstances will I give a makeup exam before the regularly scheduled exam. (An example: the student has a special opportunity for study abroad that must begin during UO exam week.) Please let me know in advance if you know of an unavoidable conflict that would prevent you from taking an exam.


Your course grade will be based on a total score made up of For students who are near to a dividing line between letter grades, I will apply some judgment: did the student do substantially all of the homeworks, did the student show substantial effort by coming to teaching assistant or instructor office hours, etc.

A letter grade will be assigned "on a curve," with slightly more than half of the students getting As and Bs. At your option, you can take the course "pass-fail" but beware: a D gets translated into a no-pass by the university system.

Academic honesty:

When you take an exam, you are attesting that you are submitting your own work, which reflects what you have learned. Anything else is dishonest, and I take dishonesty very seriously. You should your own academic honesty very seriously too: in various ways it is possible to pretend to learn, but eventually you need to actually possess skills and knowledge.

ASTR121 Goals:

Davison E. Soper, Institute of Theoretical Science, University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403 USA