Astronomy 129-L07, Introductory Astronomy Lab

Fall 2014

Tu 7:00-10:00

Room 211 SSMB

Dr. Chris Fragile

Office: 207 JCL

Office hours: M 1:00-2:30; Tu 1:00-2:30

But come by any time

Phone: 953-3181


 [ Tentative Schedule ] [ General Info[ Class Policies ] [ Goals and Objectives ] [ Grading Scheme ]

Tentative Schedule (Subject to change as we go.)



19 Aug No Lab!
26 Aug Safety Briefing/Tour/Ch. 1 Angular Size/Field of View
2 Sep Ch. 2 Celestial Globe
9 Sep Ch. 3 Moon Phases & Eclipses
16 Sep Ch. 6 Kepler's Laws
23 Sep Ch. 4 Solar System Motions
30 Sep Ch. 5 Rotating Star Chart
7 Oct Ch. 7 Polar Axis Alignment
14 Oct Ch. 9 Lunar Features
21 Oct Ch. 10 The Greenhouse Effect
28 Oct Ch. 8 Observing Techniques I
4 Nov Election Day!
11 Nov Ch. 12 Solar Discovery
18 Nov Ch. 14 Extrasolar Planets
25 Nov Ch. 11 Pluto I


Syllabus Fine Print

Required materials:

Class Policies:

If there are any students in this class who have documented disabilities and have been approved to receive accommodations through SNAP Services, please see me to discuss this.

Cellular technology: All cellular devices must be turned off during class unless you have a job that requires them to be on for safety (e.g. EMT or firefighter).

Cheating: Violations of the College of Charleston Honor Code (including cheating or attempted cheating) will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for adjudication. Examples of cheating relevant to this course include copying test or quiz answers, using cellular technology to communicate information during a test or quiz, or copying homework answers verbatim from an external source.

Collaboration: You will normally be working in small lab groups. Be sure everyone in your group is contributing. Don’t let someone else “carry” you through the course; I'll be watching for this. Collaboration is not allowed on quizzes.


Attendance is mandatory. One lab grade will be dropped at the end of the semester. This is intended to cover all possible reasons you might miss a lab, or can simply serve to improve your grade. If you miss more than one lab, then your grade will almost inevitably suffer. Only in the most extreme circumstances will I even consider excusing an absence and even then it is entirely at my discretion. Note that making up a lab by sitting in on another lab section is generally not permissible. This option will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances and requires prior approval of both instructors.

Tardiness is rude, especially to your lab partners. Furthermore, it disrupts the flow of the class. Please be polite by being on time. If a student is tardy to lab three times, their third tardy will be counted as an absence (i.e. they will get a 0 for that lab).

General Education Objectives:

  1. Students apply physical/natural principles to analyze and solve problems.
  2. Students demonstrate an understanding of the impact that science has on society.


With only 12 graded labs, each one counts more than 8% of your final grade. Grades will be based upon written lab reports (normally turned in as a group) and weekly lab quizzes (done individually). The lab reports count for 80% of your grade and the quizzes 20%.

The grading scale for the course will be: