PCC/ CCOG / PHY

Course Content and Outcome Guide for PHY 196

Course Number:
PHY 196
Course Title:
Observational Astronomy
Credit Hours:
1
Lecture Hours:
0
Lecture/Lab Hours:
20
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:
 

Course Description

Designed to teach use of telescopes and binoculars in conjunction with star atlases and catalogs in locating and identifying astronomical objects in night skies. An introduction to clock drives, astrophotography, and photoelectric photometry will be provided. Prerequisite: PHY 123. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is designed to teach the use of telescopes and binoculars in conjunction with star atlases and catalogs in
locating and identifying astronomical objects in night skies.  An introduction to clock drives, astrophotography, and photoelectric
photometry will be provided.  This course meets for 20-22 hours (lecture/lab) per term for one credit.

Intended Outcomes for the course



1.   Goal: to identify astronomical objects in standard atlases and
     research their properties in standard catalogs.
     1.1  To identify stars by name and/or letter or number
          designation.
     1.2  To identify objects by Messier, NGC, IC, and other
          designations.
     1.3  To identify the Milky Way galaxy in atlases.

2.   Goal: to locate astronomical objects in the night sky.
     2.1  To locate visible planets in the sky.
     2.2  To locate bright stars in the night sky.
     2.3  To locate and identify deep-sky objects with the use of
          binoculars and/or telescope in the night sky.

3.   Goal: to set a telescope up for photography or photometry
     3.1  To demonstrate polar alignment of a telescope
     3.2  To demonstrate use of clock-drive and dual-axis drive
          correctors on a telescope.
     3.3  To set-up camera nd photometer for use on a telescope.
     3.4  To set-up off-axis guiding equipment on a telescope.
     3.5  To discuss types of photographic films available for
          time-exposure astrophotography.

4.   Goal: To identify resources available to astronomers
     4.1  To identify periodicals available.
     4.2  To identify catalogs and atlases available.
     4.3  To identify other resources (observatories, libraries).

5.   Optional goal: study and identification of eclipses, comets,
     asteroids, and occultations if these events are timely with
     the course.
     5.1  To identify and locate such objects in the sky and
          photograph them if feasible.

Course Activities and Design



This course is presented by lecture/discussion sessions before and
after two evening field trips to a dark sky location for hands-on
experience at using the astronomical instruments listed above.

"The text/lab books and materials were specifically chosen by the
faculty and the emphasis of the course shall be the viewpoint of the
author(s).  This includes relativity, the geologic time scale, and the
evolution of the Earth, solar system, galaxy, and universe. 
(Alternative opinions and theories are welcome to be discussed in all
science courses, but the emphasis shall be as stated above.)"

Outcome Assessment Strategies



At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the
methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for
assigning a course grade.  The methods may include one or more of
the following tools:  examinations, quizzes, homework assignments,
laboratory write-ups, research papers, small group problem solving
of questions arising from application of course concepts and
concerns to actual experience, oral presentations, or maintenance
of a personal lab manual.

The evaluation of student understanding shall consist of two parts:
written exam over concepts discussed in the course and
demonstration of ability during the field experiences.  Time-
exposure photographs may also be considered. The exact type and
length of the exams shall be up to the individual instructor.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)