Astronomy 130: Introductory Astronomy II

Sections 1, 2 Fall 2014



Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday

Location: Harbor Walk, HWWE room 112

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



Instructor: Dr. George Chartas

Office: 206 J. C. Long

Office hours: TR 3:00-5:30 pm

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:

The textbook for the course is Universe 10th  Edition (8th and 9th Editions are OK as well) by Roger A. Freedman, Robert M. Geller, and William J. Kaufmann. 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. You will learn about the nature of stars and our own star the Sun. 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.


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


The learning outcomes will be accessed in an assignment given during the final exam. 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 3 midterm exams over the semester. The worst score of the three may be dropped. 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:










Final + signature assignment

30% + 10%


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.


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 test or quiz answers, using cellular technology to communicate information during a test or quiz, copying homework answers verbatim from an external source.