Astronomy 406    Fall 2013



Midterm: Fri Oct 18 in class
Midterm Information
Final: Fri Dec 20, 8:00-11:00 am
Final Exam Information

Problem Sets

Problem Sets will be posted each Friday (except the Friday before an exam) and will be due in class the following Friday.

You are strongly encouraged to work with partners on the homework! However, you should make sure that you understand every aspect of every problem, and you should write up and hand in your own solution! Be assured that some of the exam questions will be very similar to previous homework assignments!

Your solution should be legible and include all calculations together with explanations of what you're doing. The TA is not responsible for deciphering unreadable or unintelligible solution sets! You may not get any credit if you just state the final answer.

If the final answer is obviously wrong (e.g., you find that the radius of the observablue universe is 3 cm), comment! Otherwise, you may not get partial credit!

Errata to Sparke & Gallagher

Assignment Due Date Problems Solutions
PS 1 Fri Sept 6 ps1.pdf on Compass2g
PS 2 Fri Sept 13 ps2.pdf on Compass2g
PS 3 Fri Sept 20 ps3.pdf on Compass2g
PS 4 Fri Sept 27 ps4.pdf Compass2g
PS 5 Fri Oct 4 ps5.pdf on Compass2g
PS 6 Fri Oct 11 ps6.pdf problem 4(b) corrected on Oct 9 on Compass2g
PS 7 Fri Oct 25 ps7.pdf updated Oct 24 on Compass2g
PS 8 Fri Nov 1 ps8.pdf on Compass2g
PS 9 Fri Nov 8 ps9.pdf on Compass2g
PS 10 Fri Nov 15 ps10.pdf on Compass2g
PS 11 Fri Nov 22 ps11.pdf on Compass2g
PS 12 Fri Dec 6 ps12.pdf  


To help you visualize how the Galactic and extragalactic objects in this course are arranged on the night sky, there will be a special planetarium show for this course, designed by and hosted by your instructor with help from the staff at Stearkel Planetarium on the campus of Parkland College in Champaign.

Session Date: Thurs Oct 24. The planetarium doors open at 6:30pm. The session begins at 7pm and should last until about 8pm.

Bring your iClicker. There will be some real-time questions during the show, and your answers will also register your attendance.

Door charge: Tickets for the session are $3.00 at the door, please bring exact change to make life easier for the planetarium staff. Checks are accepted, but not debit/credit cards.

Getting to the Planetarium: Directions are avialable for driving or riding a CU-MTD bus.

Guests: The show will be customized for students in ASTR 406, but you are welcome to bring interested guests. Of course, everyone must pay the door charge.

Planetarium Alternative

If you could not attend the Planetarium session, you can still receive credit by watching and reporting on one of these videos. These are the lectures by recent Nobel Prize recipients in astrophysics and cosmology.



Watch the video, and briefly but completely answer all of these questions. You responses must of course be written in your own words; I recommend that when you write you should have no text in front of you (in paper or on screen) except the words you are writing yourself. Post your answers on Compass.

  1. Who is your speaker, where did he do his work, and how long did it take him?
  2. What specifically did he measure? Focus here on the measurement, not the interpretation.
  3. Why is this measurement important--why did this person win the Nobel Prize?
  4. Science is a collaborative enterprise, and no work is done alone. Name at least one person that your speaker mentions, by name, as helping make his work possible, and what this person did.

  5. Brian D. Fields
    Last modified: Fri Dec 6 07:55:58 CST 2013