ASTR 222 - Galaxies and Cosmology

Spring 2016,
TR 10:00-11:15

Instructor: Professor Chris Mihos

Office: Sears 557
Office Hours: T/Th 11:30-1:00
Teaching Assistant: Aaron Watkins
Office: Sears 573
Office Hours: M/W 3:00-4:30

Course Website:

Textbooks: There are no required textbooks, but supplemental readings will come from:

Other Help Sources:

Grading Policies:

Homeworks can be discussed collaboratively, but each person must turn in their own solutions with unique writeup/analysis. Collaborative means talking with each other about approaches, techniques, etc. Collaborative does not mean sitting side-by-side working out the answers, or swapping final solutions to copy!

Homework will be accepted in hardcopy form only -- no electronic/email submissions. Assignments are due at 4:00pm on the due date unless otherwise noted.

Late HW policy: You get one free late homework
(up to one week late), no questions asked. After that, it's a penalty of 20% for every day late, unless you have an prearranged, excused reason.

Missed test policy: Don't miss tests. If you are ill or have some other critical reason for missing a test, you must let me know in advance of the test,  and document the reason.

Grade Weights:

Midterm #1
Midterm #2
Final Exam

Due Dates:

(subject to change...)

HW #1
Jan 28
HW #2
Feb 11
Midterm #1
Feb 23
HW #3
Mar 4
HW #4
Mar 29
Midterm #2
Apr 5
HW #5
Apr 21
Final Exam
May 4, 12:30-3:30

Schedule and Content
(all subject to change)

Date Topic Reading
Jan 12 Introduction to the Milky Way, Star Counts
K: 16.1
CO: 24.1
Jan 14 Size of the Milky Way
Distances to Stars
K: 2.6, 3.5, 10.2, 13.1, 13.4, 14.2
CO: 3.1, 12.1, 13.3, 14.1
Jan 19
Variable Stars: Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars
Metallicity and Stellar Populations

Jan 21 Structure of the Milky Way: Disk, Bulge
Face-on Milky Way schematic
K: 16.1
CO: 24.2
Jan 26
The Galactic Halo
The Interstellar Medium
K:14.4, 16.4
CO: 24.2, 12.1
Jan 28
Multiwavelength Milky Way (with helpful finder chart!)
Solar Motion, the Velocities of Stars
K: 16.2, 16.3
CO: 24.3
Feb 2
Galactic Rotation and Dark Matter
K: 16.2, 16.3, 16.6
CO: 24.3, 24.4
Feb 4
The Galactic Center, The Central Object

K: 16.6
CO: 24.4
Feb 9
Environment: Satellite Galaxies and the Local Group

K: 17.1
CO: 25.1
Feb 11 Gravitational Waves

Feb 16 Intro to Galaxies: The Great Debate
Galaxies: Morphology of Galaxies, General Properties
K: 17.2, 17.3
CO: 25.2. 25.3
Feb 18
Galaxies:  General Properties, Galaxy Colors
Feb 23
Midterm Exam #1 (covering material up to and including Feb 18)

Feb 25
Galaxies: Stellar Populations and Stellar Mass-to-Light Ratios
Spiral Galaxies: General Properties  

Mar 1
Spiral Galaxies: General Properties Spiral Structure

K: 17.3
CO: 25.2. 25.3
Mar 3
Elliptical Galaxies: Structure and Stellar Populations and Kinematics

K: 17.1
CO: 25.4
CO: 26.1
Mar 8
Spring Break - no class

Mar 10 Spring Break - no class

Mar 15 HW 4 discussion
Elliptical Galaxies: Kinematics
Peculiar Galaxies: Starbursts and Interactions
K 19.2-19.6
CO: 28.1-28.2
Mar 17
Extragalactic Distances and Hubble's Law
Active Galaxies and Quasars
K: 18.1 - 18.4
CO: 27.1-27.3
Mar 22 Active Galaxies and Quasars
Galaxy Clusters and Large Scale Structure
K: 20.1 - 20.4
CO: 29.1, 29.3
Mar 24 The Expanding Universe
Mar 29
The Expanding Universe (continued)
The Age of the Universe: first attempt
The Microwave Background
K: 20.4 - 20.5, 21.1
CO: 29.2
Mar 31
The Microwave Background (continued)
Observational Cosmology with Supernovae
The Cosmological Constant
Ages and Lookback Times
CO: 29.3, 29.4
Apr 5
Midterm Exam #2 (covering material through Microwave Background)
Practice Exam with essay questions 

Apr 7
The Early Universe: Inflation, BBN, and Recombination K: 21.2, 21.4
CO: 29.2, 30.1
Apr 12
The Early Universe: Inflation, BBN, and Recombination (cont)
Setting the stage: Observing the High Redshift Universe
CO 29.4
Apr 14
Morphology of High Redshift Galaxies
The Growth of Primordial Fluctuations
CO: 30.2
Apr 19
Hot and Cold Dark Matter,
Structure Formation
Galaxy Formation (Theory)
K: 21.4.3
CO: 30.2
Apr 21
Galaxy Formation (Observational)

May 4
Final Exam (12:30-3:30 pm)

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