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ASTR 1010 – Solar System Astronomy
Course Syllabus – Fall 2017

Individuals with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact 
the Disability Services Coordinator, Edgewater Hall 255, 678-466-5445, disabilityservices@mail.clayton.edu.

Course Description:

Number and Title:

ASTR 1010 (CRN 80162)
Solar System Astronomy

Credit Hours:

3.0 semester credit hours (3-0-3)

Catalog Description:

Astronomy from early ideas of the cosmos to modern observational techniques. The solar system planets, satellites, and minor bodies. The origin and evolution of the solar system. This course is equivalent to SCI 1901A. A student may not receive credit for both ASTR 1010 and SCI 1901A. 



Course Prerequisites and Co-requisites:

Exemption or exit from Math 0099 and completion of area A math, which can be taken concurrently.


       Our place in the Universe

       The seasons and the Moon

       The science of astronomy

       Celestial coordinates and navigation

       Laws of motion, conservation laws, gravity

       Light and matter


       The Solar System

       Formation of the Solar System

       Planetary geology

       Planetary atmospheres

       Jovian planet systems

       Asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets

       Other planetary systems


Computer Requirement:

Each CSU student is required to have ready access throughout the semester to a notebook computer that meets faculty-approved hardware and software requirements for the student's academic program. Students will sign a statement attesting to such access.  For further information on CSU's Official Notebook Computer Policy, please go to



Computer Skill Prerequisites:

  • Able to use the WindowsTM operating system
  • Able to use Microsoft WordTM word processing
  • Able to send and receive e-mail using OutlookTM

Only use your CSU e-mail account or the e-mail system included in D2L to communicate academic information to your instructor.

  • Able to attach and retrieve attached files via email
  • Able to use a Web browser.

In-class Use of Student Notebook Computers:

Student notebook computers will be used for on-line quizzes in this class and should be brought to every class. Computers will be required to access course materials and to communicate with your instructor. 

Desire2Learn (Online Classroom):

On-line activity will take place in Desire2Learn, the virtual classroom for the course.  

You can gain access to Desire2Learn, by signing on to the SWAN portal and selecting: ”D2L” on the top right side.  If you experience any difficulties in Desire2Learn, please email or call The HUB at TheHub@mail.clayton.edu or (678) 466-HELP. You will need to provide the date and time of the problem, your SWAN username, the name of the course that you are attempting to access, and your instructor's name.

Program Learning Outcomes:

General education outcomes:

The Clayton State University Core Curriculum outcomes (see Area D) are located in the Graduation Requirements section of the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Course Outcome 1:  Be able to describe how the basic laws of physics apply to Solar System astronomy.
  • Course Outcome 2:  Be able to describe the theory of the formation of the Solar System.
  • Course Outcome 3: Be able to compare and contrast Solar System objects .


Instructor Information:


Dr. Bram Boroson
phone: (678) 466-4867
e-mail: bramboroson@clayton.edu
internet: http://faculty.clayton.edu/bboroson


Lakeview Discovery Center, Room 235-A

Office hours:

Thuesday and Thursday, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Other times by appointment

Class Meetings:


Lecture Hall, Room B-12

Class times:

3:30 p.m. -4:50 p.m., Monday and Wednesday

Textbook Information:


Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit, The Cosmic Perspective, Pearson Addison-Wesley, 8th edition.

Students are encouraged to use PriceLoch.com to comparison shop for textbooks.

Homework and quizzes will be conducted through the MasteringAstronomy.com website. When you buy the textbook, you can also get a code to allow you to use MasteringAstronomy.

You can also save some money by ONLY signing up to MasteringAstronomy.com, and sign up to read the e-book of the textbook online.

Once you sign up to MasteringAstronomy.com, you must give the code for OUR PARTICULAR CLASS, which is:


Text Coverage:

Chapters 1 – 13, S1


In-class examinations: 3 - 75 minute exams @ 100 points


In-class quizzes: 10 quizzes @ 15 points*


MasteringAstronomy homework


Final project (Phases of the Moon)**




*Quizzes covering fundamentals of study assignments will be administered. 

**The final project will be described in more detail.



90 - 100%


80 - 89%


70 - 79%


60 - 69%


below 60%





Mid-term Progress Report:

The mid-term grade in this course, which will be issued by September 30, reflects approximately 30% of the entire course grade.  Based on this grade, students may choose to withdraw from the course and receive a grade of "W."  Students pursuing this option must fill out an official withdrawal form, available in the Office of the Registrar, by mid-term, which occurs on October 6. Instructions for withdrawing are provided at this link.

The last day to withdraw without academic accountability is Friday, March 3, 2017.

Course Schedule:

The course schedule for ASTR 1010, Introductory Physics I, is provided in the table below.



Lesson Topic

Text Chapter / Homework / Quiz


Aug 14

Developing Perspectives



Aug 16

Developing Perspectives



Aug 21




Aug 23

Discovering the Universe



Aug 28

Discovering the Universe



Aug 30

The Science of Astronomy



Sep 04

Labor Day Holiday



Sep 06

The Science of Astronomy



Sep 07

Celestial Timekeeping



Sep 11

Celestial Timekeeping


Sep 13

Motion, Energy, Gravity



Sep 18

Motion, Energy, Gravity



Sep 20

Examination I

1 – 4


Sep 25

Light and Matter



Sep 27

Light and Matter



Oct 02




Oct 05

Collisions I



Oct 06

Last day to withdraw without academic accountability



Oct 09

Oct 10

Fall Break – No Classes



Oct 11

The Solar System




Oct 16

The Solar System



Oct 18

The Solar System



Oct 23

Formation of the Solar System



Oct 25

Review for Exam 2





Exam 2



Nov 01

Terrestrial Planetary Geology



Nov 06

Terrestrial Planetary Geology



Nov 08

Terrestrial Planetary Atmospheres



Nov 14

Terrestrial Planetary Atmospheres



Nov 21

Jovian Planetary Systems



Nov 22 –
Nov 26

Thanksgiving Holiday



Nov 27

Extrasolar Planets



Nov 29

(To be determined--review with guest professor?)


Dec 4

Exam 3



Course Policies:

General Policy
Students must abide by policies in the Clayton State University Student Handbook, and the Basic Undergraduate Student Responsibilities.  The Student Handbook is part of the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook.

University Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend and participate in every class meeting. Instructors establish specific policies relating to absences in their courses and communicate these policies to the students through the course syllabi. Individual instructors, based upon the nature of the course, determine what effect excused and unexcused absences have in determining grades and upon students’ ability to remain enrolled in their courses. The university reserves the right to determine that excessive absences, whether justified or not, are sufficient cause for institutional withdrawals or failing grades.

Course Attendance Policy
Attendance is expected for all class periods.  Attendance is required for quiz and examination periods.  Any absence must be accompanied by a written excuse from a doctor or other competent authority. 

Missed Work
Without a valid excuse, a grade of zero points will be assigned for the missed work.  If a valid excuse is provided:

  • Make-up quizzes will be given only if they are taken before quiz solutions are posted (afternoon of the day the quiz is given).  If the make-up quiz cannot be taken before the solutions are posted, the missed quiz will be counted as a quiz which can be dropped (approximately twelve to fourteen quizzes will be given in the course).  The highest ten quiz scores will be used to calculate the course grade.
  • Make-up examinations will be given only if they are taken before graded examinations are returned to students (next class period).  In the event that a make-up examination cannot be taken before exams are returned to other students, the missed examination will not count in calculating the course grade.  This means that other graded work will be
    responsible for a greater weight in determining the course final grade.
  • The final examination must be taken. Students missing the final examination should contact their instructor concerning the applicability of an Incomplete grade.

Academic Dishonesty
Any type of activity that is considered dishonest by reasonable standards may constitute academic misconduct. The most common forms of academic misconduct are cheating and plagiarism.  All instances of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero for the work involved.  All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Community Standards.  Judicial procedures are described in the section of the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook titled, Procedures for Adjudicating Alleged Academic Conduct Infractions.

Plagiarism Detection Software.
Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. You should submit your papers in such a way that no identifying information about you is included.

Disruption of the Learning Environment

Behavior which disrupts the teaching–learning process during class activities will not be tolerated.  While a variety of behaviors can be disruptive in a classroom setting, more serious examples include belligerent, abusive, profane, and/or threatening behavior.  A student who fails to respond to reasonable faculty direction regarding classroom behavior and/or behavior while participating in classroom activities may be dismissed from class.  A student who is dismissed is entitled to due process and will be afforded such rights as soon as possible following dismissal.  If found in violation, a student may be administratively withdrawn and may receive a grade of WF.

More detailed descriptions of examples of disruptive behavior are provided in the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures sections of the Clayton State University Academic Catalog and Student Handbook.


Center for Academic Success

The Center for Academic Success (CAS) provides personalized one-on-one peer and professional staff tutoring in over 100 core subjects. The Center is located in Edgewater Hall Suite 276. The CAS also offers moderated study groups, informal study sessions, a comfortable study environment, a student study lounge, and it’s all free! Use the CAS if you need help; become a tutor if you don’t. For more information you can e-mail the center at thecas@clayton.edu

Weapons on Campus
Clayton State University is committed to providing a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Information on laws and policies regulating weapons on campus are available at 


Other Policies

  • All examinations are closed book.
  • No student-produced "memory sheets" or note cards are allowed.

Last update: August 9, 2017