Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 13Su ASTR 1210-001 (CGAS)
  • 13Su ASTR 6210-001 (CGAS)
In the UVaCollab course site:   13Su ASTR 1210

ASTR 1210 Summer 2013 Syllabus


2004 Transit of Venus, by Sebastien KerstenMars, NASA

Aurora and Star Trails in the Yukon, Yuichi TakasakaComet McNaught in 2007, by Akira Fujii










 This class meets Monday through Friday, from June 10 through July 5 from 10:30am - 12:45pm in Astronomy Building, Room 265.


On the evenings of June 11 and 12, the class will visit McCormick Observatory (weather permitting; if neither night is clear, we will have to reschedule). You need to attend one of these evening sessions. To make up for this extra requirement, there will be no class during the day on June 12th.

There will be no class on July 4.

The Final Exam will be Saturday July 6th, 10:30am - 1:00pm


Contact Information:

Name Office Office Hours Email/Phone
Ricky Patterson
Astronomy 214

See Schedule

or by appointment



The Cosmic Perspective,  by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider and Voit  (Pearson Higher Education) 6th edition available in the UVa Bookstore.


Course Description:

A study of the night sky and solar system, primarily for non-science majors. This course provides an overview of the night sky, and motions of the celestial sphere. We will also cover the history of astronomy through the time of Isaac Newton. The topics include properties of the Sun, Earth, Moon, planets, asteroids, meteors and comets as well as the origin and evolution of the Solar System.


No courses are required before taking ASTR 1210. However, it is assumed that you have a basic knowledge of physical science, algebra and geometry at the high school level. Calculus is neither required nor expected. Please contact the instructor if you have any questions or concerns.

Web Pages:

The ASTR 1210 Collab page is contains all announcements and information on all course policies, assignments, deadlines, homework, quizzes, grading, and grades. If you have questions, this is the first place to look. The Collab Page is a secure site, and you will need your UVa login and NetBadge password to access it.


  • Homework (Collab Daily Quizzes):  40%
  • In Class Midterms:  10% each (20% total)
  • Final Exam: 20%
  • Daily Responses, Attendance, Participation and Effort: 20%


Independent Work:

Any material submitted for grading in this course is assumed to be entirely your own work and will be regarded as IMPLICITLY PLEDGED, whether it is pledged in writing or not. As a reminder, here is the pledge:

"On my honor as a student I have neither given nor received aid on this exam/assignment."

You are encouraged to study together and discuss topics for the course. You may discuss homework problems together. However, you must be sure that all work that you hand in for a grade is yours and yours alone. Do not submit answers from working with someone else that you do not fully understand.


  Attendance is expected at every class session - class participation, daily responses, and attendance count towards your final grade. If you have a valid and unavoidable reason for missing class, please let me know as soon as possible (before the missed class unless it is an emergency).

Daily Responses:

A short written daily response is due at the end of each class. It must contain at least two questions that you have about material that you do not understand, and at least two things that you do understand with an explanation demonstrating your understanding.


Daily assignments on the Collab site (under Tests & Quizzes), due each day before class at 10am. Homework may be submitted by 10am the following day for half credit. In addition, you are responsible for reading and reviewing the textbook material for each chapter before the lecture.

Cell phones and other electronic devices:

You must silence all electronic devices before the start of class. Devices can only be used during class for class material. Use of devices for any other purpose during class is rude, and disruptive to other students who are trying to pay attention in class. Texting, reading email, watching You Tube, checking Facebook, etc. etc. etc. is not allowed. Please do not let this become a problem.

Preliminary Schedule (be sure to read the scheduled Chapters before class):

Date Topic
Sun 6/09 Add deadline
Mon 6/10 Introduction, Review Syllabus, Chapter 1 Our Place in the Universe
Tue 6/11

Chapter 2: Constellations

9:30pm-11pm Class visit to McCormick Observatory (weather permitting)

Wed 6/12

No Class

Thu 6/13

Chapter S1, Celestial Sphere

Fri 6/14

Chapter 2: Movement of Earth (Seasons)

Mon 6/17 Chapter 2: Eclipses, Chapter 3: History of Astronomy, Ancient Astronomy,
Tue 6/18 Chapter 3: Greeks
Wed 6/19 Chapter 3: Renaissance Astronomy
Thu 6/20 Drop Deadline  Chapter 4: Newton's Laws of Motion, Gravity
Fri 6/21

Quiz (Through Chapter 4); Chapter 5: Light

Public Night at McCormick Observatory (9-11pm)

Mon 6/24 Chapter 6: Telescopes. Chapter 7: The Solar System.
Tue 6/25 Chapter 8: Origin of the Solar System. Chapter 9: Terrestrial Planets (Geology)
Wed 6/26 Chapter 9: continued.
Thu 6/27 Withdrawal Deadline Chapter 10:  Terrestrial Planets (Atmospheres)
Fri 6/28 Quiz (Chapters 7-10) Chapter 10: continued 
Mon 7/1 Chapter 11: Jovian Planets and their Satellites and Rings
Tue 7/2 Chapter 11: continued
Wed 7/3 Chapter 12: Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets, Chapter 13?
Thu 7/4 NO CLASS
Fri 7/5

Chapter 14: The Sun                       

Public Night at McCormick Observatory (9-11pm)

Sat 7/6 Final Exam (cumulative; time 10:30am - 1pm)