Astronomy 130: Introductory Astronomy II

Sections 1, 2, Fall 2017



Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday

Location: Harbor Walk, HWWE 112 

Time: TR 11:20 am - 12:35 pm



Instructor: Dr. George Chartas

Office: 206 J. C. Long

Office hours: TWR 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Phone: (843) 953-3609



Pre-requisite: ASTR 129 and 129 lab; CO: ASTR 130L


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:

The textbook for the course is Bennett, J., Donahue, M., Schneider, N., and Voit, M., titled The Cosmic Perspective 8th Edition.

You will also need a scientific calculator capable of computing exponential functions.


Course Objectives:

One of the goals of this class is to reveal to you some of the wonders of our cosmos. Astronomy 130 will begin with an introduction to the nature of light and a description of the optics and telescopes used by scientists to collect electromagnetic radiation from objects in the Universe. The course will cover the birth, evolution and death of stars and the nature of galaxies including our own Galaxy the Milky Way. You will learn about exotic objects in our Universe such as neutron stars, black holes, quasars and active galactic nuclei. The course concludes with a description of the evolution of the Universe and a presentation summarizing ongoing searches for extraterrestrial life in our Universe.

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. I expect your active participation in the class.

General Education Learning Outcomes:

1. Students apply physical/natural principles to analyze and solve problems (This outcome will be assessed by writing a report of one of the labs.)


2. Students explain how science impacts society (This outcome will be assessed in the lab class using an assignment involving writing a letter to a public official about an astronomy-related current event.)


Outcome 1 will be assessed in a lab report and outcome 2 will be assessed in the lab via a signature assignment. A more detailed description of the learning outcomes and objectives of this course are included in Learning Outcomes.




Each class will contain a segment called Astro-News. Every student will be expected to give a 5-minute presentation during Astro-News (only one presentation per student over the entire course). The presentation may be in PowerPoint, keynote, overhead or blackboard.  Astro-News will cover events that have been recently presented in a recognized astronomy media source.



Great sources of astronomy news include:

(a) the Science Section of the New York Times


(b) the NASA News Website


(c) the Hubble Space Station News website


(d) the Sky and Telescope news site

(see, and

(e) the spaceweather website



Midterm Exams Homework and Quizzes:

There will be 2 midterm exams over the semester. Homework will be assigned after each chapter and I expect it to be turned in by the assigned due date listed on the schedule web site. Several quizzes will be given during lectures. The quizzes will be based on material already presented in lectures. There will be a final exam that will cover most of the material presented in the lectures.







Your final grade will be calculated as follows:















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.

1.                  Any student eligible for and needing accommodations because of a disability is requested to speak with the professor during the first two weeks of class or as soon as the student has been approved for services so that reasonable accommodations can be arranged.



2.                  The College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Students should apply for services at the Center for Disability Services/SNAP located on the first floor of the Lightsey Center, Suite 104.  Students approved for accommodations are responsible for notifying me as soon as possible and for contacting me one week before accommodation is needed.


3.                  This College abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you have a documented disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see an administrator at the Center of Disability Services/SNAP, (843) 953-1431) or me so that such accommodation may be arranged.













Class and Attendance Policies:

Cellular technology:  Please respect your class-mates and keep your cellular devices off.  You are expected to attend all classes.


College of Charleston Honor Code and Academic Integrity:

Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism are violations of our Honor Code that, when identified, are investigated.  Each incident will be examined to determine the degree of deception involved.


Incidents where the instructor determines the student-s actions are related more to a misunderstanding will be handeled by the instructor.  A written intervention designed to help prevent the student from repeating the error will be given to the student.  The intervention, submitted by form and signed both by the instructor and the student, will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and placed in the student-s file.  


Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly by the instructor and/or others having knowledge of the incident to the Dean of Students.  A student found responsible by the Honor Board for academic dishonesty will receive a XF in the course, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty.  This grade will appear on the student-s transcript for two years after which the student may petition for the X to be expunged.  The F is permanent.  The student may also be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended (temporary removal) or expelled (permanent removal) from the College by the Honor Board.


Students should be aware that unauthorized collaboration--working together without permission-- is a form of cheating.  Unless the instructor specifies that students can work together on an assignment, quiz and/or test, no collaboration during the completion of the assignment is permitted.   Other forms of cheating include possessing or using an unauthorized study aid (which could include accessing information via a cell phone or computer), copying from others- exams, fabricating data, and giving unauthorized assistance.


Research conducted and/or papers written for other classes cannot be used in whole or in part for any assignment in this class without obtaining prior permission from the instructor. 


Students can find the complete Honor Code and all related processes in the Student Handbook at