Astronomy picture of the day [Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Atmospheric Imaging 
Assembly (AIA) image at 30.4 nm]

PSci 21 Elementary Astronomy Lab Syllabus

2020 Spring

Please read carefully.



The May 4, 5, and 6 labs were the last PSci 21 labs for Spring 2020 semester.

Thanks for taking PSci 21!




Please note: All students must register for a lab section, separately from the lecture section.

Lab objective: PSci 21 laboratory is designed to give students the opportunity to learn and recognize the constellations, deep-sky objects, planets, lunar phases, and stars with the unaided eye and with telescopes. We will also study basic astronomical concepts in labs held in classrooms. We want you to succeed in this course and to have fun learning about the night sky. Some of the topics may be difficult to understand so please feel free to ask questions both in and outside of lab.

The Department of Physics cooperates with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with physical, perceptual, or learning disabilities (cf. Americans with Disabilities Act and Section of 504, Rehabilitation Act). Students with disabilities should present their written accommodation request to their lab instructor within the first two lab sessions. The Lab Final Quiz: On the next-to-last lab, there will be a lab final quiz, worth 40 points. This will be comprehensive, covering all the material covered by all the previous quizzes and labs.

Grade: The points earned in the lab will be used by the lecture instructors to calculate your final grade in the course. The laboratory counts for 10% of the course grade. Letter grades are not assigned in the laboratory.



TENTATIVE Lab Schedule (updated 2020 May 11). Always read the lab description (in the blue Lab Manual) before lab and be ready for a quiz.

Week Dates Moon Lab
1 January 13-15 Last Quarter
(January 17)
No labs
2 January 20-22 New
(January 24)
No labs: Martin Luther King holiday
3 January 27-29 First Quarter
(February 1)
Meet in the lab classrooms (McLane 258 or 264) and do:
Lab 1, Star Names, Maps, and Constellations.
4 February 3-5 First Quarter
(February 1)
Meet in the lab classrooms (McLane 258 or 264) and do:
Lab 5, The Basics of Optics and Telescopes.
5 February 10-12 Full
(February 8)
Meet in the lab classrooms (McLane 258 or 264) and do:
Lab 3, The Mystery Constellations.
6 February 17-19 Last Quarter
(February 15)
No labs: Presidents' Day holiday
7 February 24-26 New
(February 23)
Meet in the lab classrooms (McLane 258 or 264) and do:
Lab 4, How Many Stars are in the Milky Way?
8 March 2-4 First Quarter
(March 2)
Meet in the lab classrooms (McLane 258 or 264) and do:
Lab 12: What's the Difference between Energy and Power?
9 March 9-11 Full
(March 9)
Meet in the lab classrooms (McLane 258 or 264) and do:
Lab 10, Life from Outer Space.
After briefing in the lab classrooms, we will see
a show at the Downing Planetarium.

[NOTE TO LAB INSTRUCTORS: Please brief your classes first,
then bring them to the planetarium
at 6:15 p.m. (for the 5:30 labs)
and at 8:15 p.m. (for the 7:30 labs).]
10 March 16-18 Last Quarter
(March 16)
Lab canceled due to COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic
11 March 23-25 New
(March 24)
Do as homework, scan or photograph, and email to your PSci 21 lab instructor by 11:59 p.m. on March 25:
Lab 13, Exponential Growth and Decay
12 March 30-April 1 First Quarter
(April 1)
No labs: César Chávez holiday
- April 6-8 Full
(April 7)
No labs: Spring break
13 April 13-15 Last Quarter
(April 14)
Do as homework, scan or photograph, and email to your PSci 21 lab instructor by 11:59 p.m. on April 15:
Lab 9, The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram.
14 April 20-22 New
(April 22)
Do as homework, type your answers into email, and send to your PSci 21 lab instructor by 11:59 p.m. on April 22:
Lab 6, Roman Numerals.
15 April 27-29 First Quarter
(April 30)
Math review lab, via Zoom
[NOTE TO LAB INSTRUCTORS: Email the Lab Final Quiz to all students by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 4.]
16 May 4-6 Full
(May 7)
Do as homework, type your answers into email, and send to your PSci 21 lab instructor by 11:59 p.m. on May 6:
The Lab Final Quiz, covering all labs except for Lab 11.
Also:
Do as homework, type your answers into email, and send to your PSci 21 lab instructor by 11:59 p.m. on May 6:
Lab 11, Classification of Galaxies will be due.

Always bring to all labs:

(1) The (lunar blue) PSci 21 Lab Manual,
(2) The Stars, by H. A. Rey,
(3) A clear plastic ruler,
(4) A calculator,
(5) A flashlight (even for labs in the lab classrooms).


Driving directions and a map to the Range
are given at the end of the (lunar blue) PSci 21 Lab Manual.

They are also available online by clicking here.

Go to Professor Ringwald's home page

Last updated 2020 May 11. Web page by Professor Ringwald (ringwald[at]csufresno.edu and replace [at] with @)
Department of Physics, California State University, Fresno. Please read this disclaimer.