Astronomy

  • GRS AS 699: Teaching College Astronomy I
    The goals, contents, and methods of instruction in astronomy. General teaching-learning issues. Required of all teaching fellows.
  • GRS AS 701: Introduction to Astrophysics
    Introduction to astronomical and astrophysical nomenclature and concepts. Coordinate systems, celestial orbits, radiation, stars, stellar structure, stellar evolution, clusters of stars, galactic components, galactic structure, galaxy types, active galaxies, cosmology.
  • GRS AS 703: Introduction to Space Physics
    Survey of physical phenomena in the sun, solar wind, magnetospheres, ionospheres, and upper atmospheres of objects in the solar system. Introduction to the physical processes governing space plasmas, solar-terrestrial interactions, and ionized and neutral media surrounding the Earth and other solar system bodies.
  • GRS AS 710: Observational Techniques
    Telescopes, light detection, and analysis tools and techniques of experimental astronomy. Signal-to-noise calculations. Photometric and spectroscopic instrumentation and applications. Use of the observatory, CCD light detectors, modern software analysis tools, image processing. Proposal writing and science writing.
  • GRS AS 712: Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
    Generation, propagation, and transfer of electromagnetic radiation. Spectral energy distributions, continuum radiation, spectral lines. Interaction of radiation with matter, transfer of radiation through astrophysical media. Thermal and nonthermal radiative processes.
  • GRS AS 713: Astronomical Spectroscopy
    Spectroscopic processes in astrophysics. Energy levels in atoms and molecules. Atomic and molecular spectral lines. Excitation of atoms and molecules. Transfer of line radiation. Spectroscopic instruments. Derivation of physical parameters from spectroscopic observations.
  • GRS AS 725: Gravitational Astrophysics
    Orbital theory: two-body and three-body problems. Gravitational encounters. N-body problem and star/galaxy clusters. Precession and nutation. Special and General relativity. Collapsed stellar objects and black holes. Gravitational lensing.
  • GRS AS 726: Cosmic Gas Dynamics
    Gas dynamics as applied to astrophysical settings. Basic fluid mechanics. Ideal gases. One-dimensional gas flow. Supersonic flows and shock waves. Quasar jets and stellar winds. Fluid instabilities, turbulence, and convection.
  • GRS AS 727: Plasma Physics
    Physics of space and astrophysical plasmas. Individual particle drifts in fields, electrostatic and electromagnetic waves and instabilities, magnetohydrodynamics, kinetic theory of waves, instabilities, and Landau damping.
  • GRS AS 751: The Interstellar Medium
    Graduate Prerequisites: GRS AS 701 ; GRS AS 712 ; GRS AS 713 ; GRS AS 725 ; GRS AS 726.
    Interstellar medium components and phases. Neutral hydrogen clouds, 21 cm line, Zeeman effect. Ionized nebulae, free-free radiation, recombination lines, ionization balance, thermal balance. Molecular clouds, collisional and radiative excitation, line formation and propagation, rotational and vibrational energies. Interstellar chemistry.
  • GRS AS 757: High-Energy Astrophysics
    Graduate Prerequisites: GRS AS 712 ; GRS AS 725 ; GRS AS 726 ; GRS AS 727; or consent of instructor.
    Physics of interactions between high-energy particles and photons. Compton scattering; nuclear collisions; acceleration and energy losses of high-energy particles; neutrino production; physics of cosmic rays; pulsars; accretion onto compact objects; active galactic nuclei and other high-energy phenomena.
  • GRS AS 759: Cosmology
    Graduate Prerequisites: GRS AS 701 ; GRS AS 710 ; GRS AS 712 ; GRS AS 725 ; GRS AS 726.
    Modern physical cosmology. The Friedmann equation, expansion of the universe and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Determination of fundamental cosmological parameters. Large-scale structure, galaxy formation, active galaxies, and quasars. Dark matter and dark energy in the universe. The inflation era.
  • GRS AS 781: Planetary Atmospheres
    Graduate Prerequisites: GRS AS 726; or consent of instructor.
    Planetary and cometary atmospheres; atmospheric vertical mixing; radiative processes; catalytic ozone destruction; aurorae and airglow; planetary ionospheres; energy budgets. Planetary evolution: solar nebula, outgassing, water loss on Venus and Mars, escape of light gases, greenhouse effect, isotope fractionation, impact theory.
  • GRS AS 786: The Sun and Heliosphere
    Graduate Prerequisites: GRS AS 701 ; GRS AS 703 ; GRS AS 712 ; GRS AS 713 ; GRS AS 726 ; GRS AS 727; or consent of instructor.
    Fundamentals of solar and heliospheric physics, including observational methods and theory from the sun's interior through interplanetary space and into the local interstellar medium. The sun as a star. Relation of our heliosphere to astrospheres surrounding other stars.
  • GRS AS 791: Special Topics in Astrophysics
    Lecture course examining special topics of current interest in astrophysics. Offered as a 2- or 4-credit course, depending on the topic.
  • GRS AS 793: Special Topics in Space Physics
    Lecture course examining special topics of current interest in solar system space physics. Offered as a 2- or 4-credit course, depending on the topic.
  • GRS AS 802: Graduate Research and Scholarship
    An introduction to the methods of research and scholarship required for successful graduate study and the associated ethical issues. Topics include choosing a research advisor, the research topic, the research record, scholarly writing and publishing, intellectual property, and research funding.
  • GRS AS 803: Research Methods in Astronomical Data Analysis
    Computer programming skills, elementary image and data processing, visualization techniques for astronomical datasets. Flat fielding, bias removal, sky subtraction, median filtering, CLEAN algorithm, point-source extraction. Fitting functions to data, solving linear and nonlinear equations numerically, approximating solutions of differential equations.
  • GRS AS 850: Astrophysics Seminar
    Weekly seminar offering graduate students and advanced undergraduates discussions of current research topics in astrophysics with staff and visiting scientists.
  • GRS AS 851: Astrophysics Seminar
    Weekly seminar offering graduate students and advanced undergraduates discussions of current research topics in astrophysics with staff and visiting scientists.