Catalog 2014–2015

Astronomy (ASTR) Courses

College of Arts and Sciences

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ASTR 110  General Astronomy (3) A survey of modern astronomy intended for non-science majors; the structure and evolution of the solar system, stars, stellar systems, and the Universe. If students desire to take ASTR 110, 180, and 181, they may receive credit for ASTR 110 only if it is taken prior to taking ASTR 180 and ASTR 181.

ASTR 110L  Gen Astronomy Lab (1) (lab) Demonstration of astronomical principles through laboratory observations and analysis of astronomical data. Not required for ASTR 110. Pre: Credit or registration in ASTR 110, ASTR 180, or ASTR 181.

ASTR 111  Intro to Space Exploration (3) Survey of applied science, social, cultural and engineering topics in space science, focusing on exploration. Past, present and future aspects of space exploration. Relationship to Hawaiian views of cosmology and Hawaiian traditions such as Wayfaring and relationship to the land. (Same as PHYS 111)

ASTR 130  Intro To Space Science (3) An introduction to space science and related subjects. Topics discussed are the contents of the solar system and of near-Earth space, history, and physical principles of space flight, remote sensing of the Earth from space, space habitats and manned missions to the planets, the sociological impact of space exploration, and the prospects for life elsewhere in the Universe.

ASTR 150  Life in The Universe (3) The possibility that life might exist elsewhere in the universe has fascinated human beings ever since our ancestors first gazed into the starry sky. In this course, the question for extraterrestrial life is considered from astronomical, biological, and sociological perspectives. Topics include planets, stars and galaxies, the Big Bang, the origin and evolution of life on Earth, searches for extraterrestrial life, and more. A non-mathematical course for non-science majors who want to explore astronomy.

ASTR 180  Princ Of Astron I (3) A survey of modern solar system astronomy, with emphasis on the underlying physical principles. Topics discussed include the celestial sphere and aspects of the night sky, the structure and evolution of the Sun's planetary system, comparative planetology, and theories of the formation of planetary systems. Intended for science majors and prospective science teachers. The student should have a good operational familiarity with high school algebra. If students desire to take ASTR 110, 180 and 181, they may receive credit for ASTR 110 only if it is taken prior to taking ASTR 180 and ASTR 181.

ASTR 181  Princ Of Astron II (3) A survey of modern stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy, with emphasis on the underlying physical principles. Topics covered include stellar structure, interstellar environments and the formation of stars, stellar evolution and death, the structures of galaxies, and cosmology. Intended for science majors and prospective science teachers. The student should have a good operational familiarity with high school algebra. If students desire to take ASTR 110, 180 and 181, they may receive credit for ASTR 110 only if it is taken prior to taking ASTR 180 and 181. Pre: ASTR 180.

ASTR 224  Spaceflight (3) All aspects of manned and unmanned spaceflight, with emphasis on actual technologies and procedures used in space exploration. For students interested in Astronomy, Physics, Planetary Sciences, Aerospace Engineering or with a general interest in spaceflight. Pre: PHYS 106 or higher; CHEM 114 or higher; MATH 104 or higher. Students lacking these pre-requisites who believe they have sufficient science background may be admitted with the instructor's permission. (Same as PHYS 224)

ASTR 230  Applied Electronics I (4) (lec., lab) Theory and applications of circuit design and analysis with an emphasis on analog devices. AC and DC series and parallel RLC circuits, diodes, transistors and operational amplifiers. Laboratory will consist of construction and analysis of representative circuits. Pre: PHYS 171 or PHYS 173, and PHYS 171L. (Same as PHYS 230).

ASTR 250  Observational Astronomy (3) An introduction to the tools and techniques of observational astronomy: astronomical time and coordinate systems, photometric systems and magnitudes, principles of telescopes and their operation, introduction to modern astronomical instruments, analysis of astronomical data. Coursework includes observations with small telescopes, and tours of the observatories on Mauna Kea. Pre: ASTR 180, 181, MATH 205 and PHYS 171.

ASTR 250L  Observational Astronomy Lab (1) (lab) A lab course in modern observational astronomy emphasizing "hands-on" use of instruments to acquire data with research-grade telescopes atop Mauna Kea. Students will gain on-site observing experience with CCD photometry and spectroscopy through direct acquisition and data analysis using modern laboratory data reduction software. Applications to stellar and, where possible, galactic astrophysics will be observed. Pre: ASTR 181 or equivalent, and concurrent enrollment in ASTR 250.

ASTR 260  Computational Physics & Astron (3) Computational techniques in physics and astronomy, with an emphasis on fundamental algorithms and development of code in high-level languages. Topics include least squares, interpolation, random number generators and numerical integration of differential equations. Pre: PHYS 170 or PHYS 172, CS 150.

ASTR 350  Stellar Astrophysics (3) Stellar astronomy from a modern, physical viewpoint: principles of stellar structure; stellar energy sources and evolution; radiative transfer and the structure of stellar atmospheres; multiple and variable stars. Pre: ASTR 181, PHYS 271, PHYS/ASTR 260.

ASTR 351  Galactic & Extragal Astrophys (3) The astronomy of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the Universe from a modern, physical point of view; the structure, contents, dynamics, and evolution of the Milky Way and of other galaxies; clusters of galaxies; the formation of galaxies; the extragalactic distance scale and the large-scale structure of the Universe; observational cosmology. Pre: ASTR 181, PHYS 271, PHYS/ASTR 260.

ASTR 352  Comparative Planetology (3) Study of the geology and geophysics of Earth-like planets and satellites in the Solar System, with emphasis on understanding terrestrial geology in a broader, astronomical context. Study of the atmospheres of Solar System planets and satellites, and also the formation and evolution of the Solar System and extrasolar planetary systems. Pre: GEOL 111, ASTR 180. (Same as GEOL 352).

ASTR 375  Literature Review Practicum (1) A guided course for writing a literature survey on a topic in physics or astronomy. This course can be repeated if a different writing topic is approved. Credits earned in this course may NOT be counted as upper-division physics or astronomy electives needed for the BA in Physics or the BS in Astronomy degrees. Pre: 9 credit hours in Physics or Astronomy courses at the 200 level or above AND permission of the instructor.

ASTR 400  Observatory Internship (1-6) Cooperative education experience with student employed in an astronomical observatory or research facility on the Island of Hawaii. One credit is granted for each full-time working month, or equivalent thereof, to a limit of 6 credits (such credits may not be counted as upper-division astronomy electives for the purpose of fulfilling that requirement for the B.S. degree in Astronomy). Pre: consent of Department.

ASTR 432  Senior Lab/Thesis Project (3) (lab) Individual research projects conducted in the college laboratory, library, or observatory; or at an external research facility; under the direct guidance of a member of the physics and astronomy faculty or an affiliated faculty member. Students must propose and complete a research project, and present a final report to the department. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credits. Pre: permission of the department is required. (Same as PHYS 432)

ASTR 450  Instruments & Techniques (3) A course in current astronomy observational instruments and techniques, with emphasis on "hands-on" use of instruments to acquire data with research telescopes on Mauna Kea. Topics covered include optical and infrared photometric instruments, CCD and IRCCD cameras, astronomical spectrographs and interferometers, advanced data analysis. Pre: ASTR 250, PHYS 331, PHYS/ASTR 260.

ASTR 460  Gravitation & Cosmology (3) An introduction to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, with emphasis on astronomical applications: the curvature of space-time and the principle of equivalence; gravitational collapse and black holes; the large-scale structure of the Universe; modern cosmology. Pre: PHYS 270, MATH 232.

ASTR 495A  Seminar (1) Seminar presentations of topics in the physical sciences by faculty, enrolled students and invited speakers. The first semester (495A) is taken CR/NC; in the second semester (495B), students are required to present a seminar for a letter grade. Pre: senior standing or instructor's consent. (Same as CHEM 495A-495B, GEOL 495A-495B, MATH 495A-495B, and PHYS 495A-495B.)

ASTR 495B  Seminar (1) Seminar presentations of topics in the physical sciences by faculty, enrolled students and invited speakers. Students are required to present a seminar for a letter grade. Pre: senior standing, or instructor's consent. (Same as CHEM 495B, GEOL 495B, MATH 495B, and PHYS 495B).

ASTR 496  Space Studies Seminar (1) Seminar presentations of topics related to space exploration by invited speakers, faculty, and enrolled students. Students are required to prepare and submit reaction papers/essays.


ASTR x94 Special Topics in Subject Matter (Arr.) (IO) Special topics chosen by the instructor. Course content will vary. May be repeated for credit, provided that a different topic is studied. Additional requirements may apply depending on subject and topic.

ASTR x99 Directed Studies (Arr.) (IO) Statement of planned reading or research required. Pre: instructor’s consent.

Undergraduate Courses