John Beck, Ph.D.
Astronomy Instructor

Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering Division

Middlefield campus
Office Hours:
MW 5:30 - 6:00, rm MC-IA

Teaching Astro 10A and Astro 10L in Fall 2013
Teaching Astro 10B and Astro 10L in Winter 2014
Teaching Astro 10A and Astro 10L in Spring 2014

Course information:
Astro 10A
This is an introduction to astronomy, with emphasis on the planets, moons, and smaller bodies which make up our solar system, as well as the scientific search for life elsewhere in the universe. Topics include the nature of light, the atom, and telescopes, an examination of the planets and their moons and rings, the origin of the solar system, comets, asteroids, and meteors, catastrophic events (including the impact that may have killed the dinosaurs), the search for planets and life around other stars, the challenges of space travel, and modern views on extraterrestrial contact.

Syllabus for Astronomy 10A Spring 15 (pd)f

Study Guide for ASTRO 10A (pdf)

Astro 10B
This is an introduction to astronomy, with emphasis on stars, galaxies, and the origin and evolution of the universe. Topics covered include the nature of light, atoms, and telescopes; the birth, evolution, and death of stars (including an introduction to black holes); the Milky Way Galaxy and its development over time; normal galaxies, active galaxies, and cannibal galaxies; and the Big Bang model (of the origin and ultimate fate of the cosmos).

Study Guide for ASTRO 10B (pdf)

Astro 10A/10B supplementary materials:

How Stars Make Elements (pdf)
A little info on Solids, Liquids and Gases (pdf)
Looking For Life (pdf)
The Drake Equation (pdf)
SETI (pdf)

Astro 10L
A hands-on approach to astronomical data and equipment. Students will do experiments and observing projects about star and constellation finding, the phases of the Moon, seasons, the rotation, revolution, and sphericity of the Earth, the nature of light, the validity of astrology, etc.

Astronomy 10L Syllabus (pdf)

Lab 1: Tools of Astronomy

Lunar Observations Forms (pdf)

Last update: 2015-04-03
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