Astronomy 162: Syllabus

Astronomy 162 Home Page

Spring Quarter 2009
 Anthony L. Shoup

M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, acquired by A. Shoup
with the OSU-Lima Student Observatory
(click on image to go to OSU-Lima Student Observatory page)

Quick Links

General Information

Course Objectives

Class Policies


OSU-Lima Student Observatory

General Information

Instructor: Anthony L. Shoup
Office: rm 315 Science Bldg.
Phone: (419) 995-8018

Lecture Times: Mon, Tue, & Thu 2:30-4:00pm
Lecture Place: rm 312 Science Building
Office Hours: Mon, Tue & Thu 1:30-2:30pm, Wed & Fri 11-12am, or by appointment

Prerequisites:  Astronomy 161

Text: Universe, by Freedman & Kaufmann, 8th ed, Freeman Publisher.  They have a nice free website to go with the book. Please make use of it. Also there is a free version of Starry Night Backyard that comes with the book.

Web Site:

Course Goals/Objectives

Astronomy 162 is a Physical Science course in the Natural Science category of the GEC. The goals and objectives for the Natural Science category are:


Courses in natural sciences foster an understanding of the principles, theories and methods of modern science, the relationship between science and technology and the effects of science and technology on the environment.

Learning Objectives:

1. Students understand the basic facts, principles, theories and methods of modern science.
2. Students learn key events in the history of science.
3. Students provide examples of the inter-dependence of scientific and technological developments.
4. Students discuss social and philosophical implications of scientific discoveries and understand the potential of science and technology to address problems of the contemporary world.

The goals specific to Astronomy 162, Introduction to Stellar, Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy, are to explore the physical nature of the stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole, including their constituents, formation and evolution. Example questions we will answer:  Where do stars come from?, Are there really black holes and what are they?, How did galaxies get to be the way they are?, How did the universe form?. We will do many demonstrations,  hands-on activities, and computer based activities which will help you understand our universe and the physical laws that govern it. Hopefully, by the end of the course you will have a greater appreciation for our universe and our place in it.

Class Policies

All policies outlined in the "Academic Guidelines for Students", posted on Ohio State Lima's homepage ( apply to Astronomy 162.

Getting help: Whenever you have a problem with the topics covered in class, please see me. It can save you a lot of trouble later on if you get help early. You will need everything discussed early on in the class to understand the material covered in later chapters, so don't hesitate to ask questions.

Calculator: A scientific calculator is provided for students during class. No other calculators may be used during exams.  In this way, no student will have an unfair advantage.  I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with the provided calculators.

Written Assignments: Please refer to the class schedule.  You will get homework assignments each week. You will submit the homework using a web-based homework service, WebAssign. For more information on this, click here.


Your grade will be determined by your scores on the two midterms (100 points each), the comprehensive final exam (200 points), in-class activities (100 points:  5 activities, 20 points each), and homework (90 points: 9 assignments, 10 points each, and one Observing/Research Project worth 50 points).



Midterm I


Midterm II


Final Exam


In-class Activities




Observing Project


Total Points


Attendance is REQUIRED to receive credit for the in-class assignments!

OSU-Lima Student Observatory

OSU-Lima has a new student observatory which houses a 16" Meade LX-200GPS reflecting telescope in a 15' fiberglass dome which can accommodate up to 12-15 people at a time.  It is a computer controlled facility (both locally and remotely via the web).  It has various eyepieces for visual observing and two CCD cameras for telescopic imaging.  Initial construction was completed just last August, so we are still continuing to update/improve it.  We typically hold 4-5 "star parties" for community organizations and for the community at large. For Astronomy 162, I will be conducting observing sessions throughout the quarter using the observatory, for courses at the Lima Campus.

This document may be found at: