ASTR 422/538: Concepts of Astrophysics II


Instructor
Prof. Diana Dragomir
Email: dragomir@unm.edu
Office: PAIS 3226


Description of the class

Astronomy 422/538 (Spring 2024) is intended for advanced (senior level) undergraduates, and is also counted as an elective for graduate students. This course covers galaxies and the Universe. We will start with the interstellar medium of our own Milky Way Galaxy. We will next discuss the structure of the Milky Way and other galaxies, galaxy evolution, clusters of galaxies and the large scale structure of the Universe. The last part of the course will focus on cosmology and the early Universe. A major emphasis of the course will be to instruct you on how to think and write like a scientist. We will have four "journal club"-style presentations and discussions, as well as a term paper. 
This is a three credit-hour course. Class meets for two 75-minute sessions of direct instruction for fifteen weeks during the Spring 2024 semester.

The detailed syllabus can be found here.

Lecture slides, homework, announcements and information on projects will be posted on the UNM Canvas course page. 

Tentative Schedule

Date Lecture Notes Reading HW/JC Due
Week 1
01/15-01/19

Interstellar Medium

Ch 12
Week 2
01/22-01/26

Interstellar Medium - Cosmic Rays

Ch 15.5; JC paper 1 JC1 summary and questions due (1/25)
Week 3
01/29-02/02

Journal Club 1; ISM and IMF

Ch 24.1
Week 4
02/05-02/09

Milky Way - Morphology; Milky Way - Kinematics

Ch 24.2 & 24.3 HW1 due (2/6)
Week 5
02/12-02/16

Milky Way - Galactic Center; Galaxy Properties and The Hubble Sequence

Ch. 24.4; Ch 25.1 & 25.2 HW2 due (2/15)
Week 6
02/19-02/23

Galaxy Structure; Galactic Interactions

Ch 25.3 & 25.4; Ch 26.1; JC paper 2 JC2 summary and questions due (2/22)
Week 7
02/26-03/01

 Journal Club 2; Galaxy Formation

Ch 26.2
Week 8
03/04-03/08

Galaxy Evolution; Extragalactic distance scale

Ch 26.2; Ch 27.1
Week 9
03/11-03/15
Spring Break
Week 10
03/18-03/22

Midterm exam (3/19); Hubble's Law

Ch 27.2; JC paper 3
Week 11
03/25-03/29

Large-Scale Structure; Journal Club 3

Ch 27.2
Week 12
04/01-04/05

Active Galaxies; Newtonian Cosmology

Ch 28; Ch. 29.1
Week 13
04/08-04/12

No class 4/9 (go see the eclipse!); Cosmic Microwave Background;

Ch 29.2; JC paper 4
Week 14
04/15-04/19

Relativistic Cosmology; Journal Club 4

Ch 29.3 & 29.4

Week 15
04/22-04/26
The Early Universe I; The Early Universe II Ch 30.1 & 30.2
Week 16
04/29-05/03
Final project presentations

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