Astronomy 130L: Astronomy II LAB

Section 4, Spring 2014


Lab Day:  Thursday

Location: Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center, Room 125

Time: 7:00-10:00 PM (section 4)



Lab Instructor: Dr. George Chartas

Office: 129 RHSC

Office hours: TR  10:00am-11:15 am

Phone: (843) 953-3609



A preliminary outline of the course can be found at the SCHEDULE website. Some of this material is subject to change and this site will be constantly up-dated so please check it before each class.



Required materials:

You will need :

a)   The College of Charleston Astronomy Lab manual (you may purchase it from SAS-E Ink located on 219 Calhoun Str., Charleston),

a)   A scientific calculator capable of computing exponential functions.



Course Objectives:

One of the goals of this class in combination with the associated lecture is to reveal to you some of the wonders of our cosmos.  You will learn how the scientific method is used to explain the underlying causes behind astrophysical phenomena. The lab activities will provide a hands-on approach to better understand the material taught in the astronomy 130 lectures.

Specifically, in Astronomy 130 Lab, students will learn about black body curves, find out how emission spectra are created, confirm the law of reflection, learn about and operate telescopes,  use parallax to compute the distance to an object, observe the different colors of stars, learn about spectral classification, learn about the Sun, use magnitudes to compute the distance to objects, learn to use the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, learn about eclipsing and spectroscopic binary stars, identify the morphology of galaxies and verify the expansion of our Universe.

Astronomy 130 will also improve several general skills that will be useful for students. In particular, the lab will enhance studentŐs teamwork skills, students will learn the basics of collecting, analyzing and presenting scientific data, use simple statistics to analyze data, learn how to interpret data, improve on computer skills and learn about telescope calibration.

I recommend that you review the material before it is presented in class. This will help you to better understand the concepts and enjoy the class.



General Education Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Students apply physical/natural principles to analyze and solve problems.

2. Students develop an understanding of the impact that science has on society.


A more detailed description of the learning outcomes and objectives of this course are included in Learning Outcomes.





It is important that you attend every lab since there are only 13 labs per semester and each one therefore carries a significant fraction of your grade. Also missing a lab will make it difficult for you to understand and carry out upcoming labs. In case of a documented emergency you can miss up to one lab. Any additional missed labs will count against your grade.



Grades will be curved to account for the varying difficulty level of labs and quizzes. You will be graded for each lab. Labs reports will be completed and handed in before you leave. I will indicate which lab reports you may collaborate on and for which ones I expect you to complete individually. Collaboration is not allowed on quizzes. Your number grade will be converted into a letter grade as follows.
































Special Needs:

If you have any special needs or disabilities that might require special arrangements to be made for any aspect of this course, please let me know at the beginning of the semester or as soon as you become aware of them.

Class Policies:

Cellular technology:  Please respect your classmates and keep your cellular devices off or in vibrate mode.


Violations of the College of Charleston Honor Code (including cheating or attempted cheating) will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for adjudication. Examples of cheating include copying quiz answers and using cellular technology to communicate information during a quiz.