There will be a total of ten labs over the course of the winter session, including one night observation lab, which will be held during the scheduled evening sessions on the first clear night available.


Full syllabus and downloads for labs are HERE



NOTE: You are responsible for printing your own lab manual before the start of each lab session (see lab syllabus)!



Course: PHYS133: Introduction to Astronomy

Time: Winter Semester 2015

Place: University of Delaware


Instructor: Jon Sundqvist

Email: OR

Office: SHL 255


Lab TA: Christi Erba


Office: SHL 308 or SHL 124 (SPS Lounge)


Regular class hours: MTWRF 3:30PM - 5:15PM -- SHL 100

Office Hours: 1:00PM - 2:00PM, or by email at any time, or by appointment.

Regular lab hours: MW 7:00PM - 9:00PM OR TR 7:00PM - 9:00PM - SHL 101B


Text: The Essential Cosmic Perspective, 7th Edition, Bennett et al.

with Mastering Astronomy: ISBN: 9780321927842

Course Website:


-- All information below may be subject to change. Please report any factual error on this website to




Catalog Description


Objects of the universe from the earth to galaxies. How the universal laws that govern them; e.g., gravity and electromagnetic radiation, permit us to learn their nature from quantitative observations. Telescopic observations, visual and electronic, included in the laboratory. This is a lab course.

RESTRICTIONS: Not for credit for those who have taken PHYS144.


Prerequisite(s): There are no formal prerequisites for this course, but we will use some high-school algebra and mathematics, as well as basic physics (e.g. Kepler's and Newton's laws, nature of light and electromagnetic spectra) applied to astronomical objects and systems.



Overview of Course


The course will cover approximatley Chapters 1,2,3,4,5,11,12,13,14,16.1,16.2,17,18 in the 7th Edition of the textbook; the exact listing may be subject to change during the course. Topics covered include, for example,


  1. Our place in the Universe and the Science of Astronomy
  2. Our Sun and the Stars
  3. Galaxies and Cosmology


Older versions of the textbook may use different numbering of chapters etc. If you are using an older version, it is your responsibility to take into account these differencese. You may check here what material the Chapters above then correspond to.


  • There will be one mid term exam and one final exam.
  • Homework assignments will mostly be on the Mastering Astronomy system, but additional assignments may occur.
  • Lectures will be available online shortly before/after they are given.


Find course calender, homework assignment information, posted lectures, and information about exams HERE -- This webpage will be continously updated during the course and you are urged to follow it closely!







You are expected to attend and actively participate in lectures.

You are expected to do any preparatory reading.

You are required to participate in the labs as outlined above.





Mid term exam 20 %

Final exam 35 %

Labs 20 %

Homework assignments 25 %


Letter Grades

A: 92.500 – 100.00

A-: 89.500 – 92.499

B+: 86.500 – 89.499

B : 82.500 – 86.499

B-: 79.500 – 82.499

C+: 76.500 – 79.499

C : 72.500 – 76.499

C-: 69.500 – 72.499

D+: 66.500 – 69.499

D : 62.500 – 66.499

D-: 59.500 – 62.499

F: Below 59.500

Please note that "rounding up" is included in this table, so if you get a 79.500 it rounds up to 80 and you will get a B-, but if you get a 79.499 you will get a C+. There has to be a cut between grades somewhere.



Course Policies



For the benefit of your fellow students and your instructors, you are expected to practice common courtesy with regard to all course interactions. In particular:


  1. Show up for class on time.
  2. Be attentive in class. Try to stay engaged.
  3. If you must be late or leave early on any particular day, please inform your instructor or TA in advance.
  4. Play well with others. Be respectful to your fellow students and your teachers.


-- Your grade may be affected if you do not practice common courtesy.



Cheating Policy:

You are, as in all classes, bound by the university's policy on cheating, plagiarism and academic misconduct. Your instructors are required to report any cases of cheating to the University, including copying, and allowing yourself to be copied from. It is also worth remembering you are subject to federal, state and local laws.


For a guide to University policies, see: