Introduction to Astronomy Lab

Physics 091, Spring 2018

The laboratory associated with Introduction to Astronomy.
Last revised February 16th, 2018
Instructional Team

This lab is the required companion to Physics 90. Each week will feature a laboratory exercise related to concepts and topics taught in lecture. Some algebra and geometry will be used.


Together, the lecture and laboratory of the Introduction to Astronomy course are designed to achieve the outcomes enumerated in the Mathematical and Scientific pathway to knowledge. The laboratory portion of the course has three main outcomes:

You will need:

All labs are conducted on Mondays.

Afternoon labs for Section 1 are conducted between 11:45am and 1:45pm; for Section 2 between 2:00 and 4:00pm; for Section 3 between 4:15 and 6:15pm.

Evening observational labs are conducted beginning at dusk. The decision as to whether to have an evening observing lab on a given Monday will be announced by email on Friday (three days before). Dusk is about 5:30pm early in the semester. Due to the lengthening of the days and the change to daylight savings time, dusk occurs about 7:30pm late in the semester.

For the Spring Semester there are 12 Mondays on which we can conduct labs. We are prepared to have five indoor labs and five outdoor observational labs. In addition, we will conduct one make-up lab on one of the last Mondays of the semester. We don't have perfect forecasting, and therefore one of the Mondays is budgeted for one outdoor lab cancellation.


The lab grade is separate from the lecture grade. You are required to attend all labs. Recognizing that there are sometimes unavoidable reasons for missing a lab, an opportunity to make up one missed lab on a Monday near the end of the semester will be provided.

Both participation and evaluation are required for full credit on each lab. Active participation will be demonstrated by each lab group member showing that they are individually conversant with the laboratory procedure and equipment operation. Evaluation may consist of worksheets, questions, reports of observations, drawings and analyses as appropriate for each lab.

Since you will not receive any credit for an absence, and since there are 10 labs required, each absence will in effect subtract 10% from your final grade. Final letter grades will be assigned as follows: 90-100% are A's, 80-89% are B's, 70-79% are C's, 60-69% are D, 0-59% F.


The Stem Center Tutoring, Academic Honor Code, Student Disability Services and Mission statements from the Physics 90 syllabus are applicable to Physics 91.

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