PHYSICS 1002 - Astronomy I
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code PHYSICS 1002 Course Astronomy I Coordinating Unit School of Chemistry & Physics Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 5.5 hours per week Course Description This course aims to present a survey of astronomical science, including highlights of modern exploration and the open questions in astronomy. Topics include the formation and characteristics of the Solar System, including the planets and minor members of the system; Telescopes; the Sun; the birth, life and death of stars; galaxies and dark matter; active galaxies and quasars; Big Bang cosmology. There are no formal prerequisites for the course, though mathematical literacy at year 10 level is assumed.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Andrew MacKinnon
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesA successful student should be able to:
1 Describe the features of objects in the Solar System (i.e. Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, planetary interiors, atmospheres, etc.) giving details of similarities and differences between these objects; 2 detail the presently accepted formation theories of the solar system based upon observational and physical constraints; 3 detail changes which are observed when viewing the sky daily, weekly, monthly, annually and longer period of time and demonstrate an understanding of the reasons behind any observed changes; 4 demonstrate an understanding of the basic properties of the Sun and other stars; 5 explain stellar evolution, including red giants, supernovas, neutron stars, pulsars, white dwarfs and black holes, using evidence and presently accepted theories; 6 detail the main features and formation theories of the various types of observed galaxies, in particular the Milky Way; 7 explain the evolution of the expanding Universe using concepts of the Big Bang and observational evidence; 8 use information learned in class and develop observation skills to be able to explain astronomical features and observations obtained via telescopic observations or data provided through computer simulations.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-8 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-8 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 8 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 8 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 8 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 3
M.A. Seeds, Horizons: Exploring the Universe, 13th edition (or earlier) (Thomson)
J.D. Fix, Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier, 6th edition (or earlier) (McGraw Hill)
N. Commins & W.J. Kaufmann, Discovering the Universe, 8th edition (or earlier) (Freeman)
any other "freshman" level Astronomy text. Multiple copies of the textbooks and similar books are available in the Barr Smith Library, some in the Reserve Collection (3 hour loan).
Multiple copies of the textbooks and similar books are available in the Barr Smith Library, some in the Reserve Collection (3 hour loan).
MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/).
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
This course will be delivered by the following means:
- 3 lectures of 1 hour per week
- 1 tutorial of 1 hour per week
- 1 practical of 3 hours per fortnight (weather dependant)
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities Summary
The course content will include the following:
- 24 lectures as an introduction to General Astronomy
- 12 lectures studying the Solar System
Practical Work Content
- Observation practicals (2 of the following 3 options):
- Observing the Moon: One evening session will be spent observing the Moon from the University campus. This observing session will be accompanied by a set of guided observing tasks and questions for assessment.
- Observing the Night Sky (a visit to an observing site north of the city
- Constructing a simple Sundial (take-home practical)
Each practical will result in a report for assessment, but you will have a choice of which you do.
- Computer Exercises:
A series of three computer practical exercises are typically scheduled for Weeks 2, 6 and 10 of the Semester. You will be required to attend one session in each of those weeks between 6:10 pm and 9 pm. The sessions will be held in the Johnson Computing Suite. More detailed information will be provided closer to the date.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle (Yes/No) Outcomes being assessed Essay Formative & Summative 10% No 1 – 7 Practical Exercises Formative & Summative 20% No 1 – 8 Exam Summative 70% No 1 – 7
Should be of approximately 1,500 words in length. Marks will be given for science content. References and the source of web information must be included.
Practical achievement and practical reports
Five practical reports must be submitted. Practical reports are typically due within 1 week of attending a given practical session.
This summative assessment activity comprehensively addresses the learning objectives for Astrophysics.
Submission of Assigned Work Coversheets must be completed and attached to all submitted work. Coversheets can be obtained from the School Office (room G33 Physics) or from MyUNI. Work should be submitted via the assignment drop box at the School Office.
Extensions for Assessment Tasks Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: http://www.sciences.adelaide.edu.au/current/
Late submission of assessments
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
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- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
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- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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