2017 Spring

Planetary Astrobiology (3)

This course will explore the processes related to planet formation, the properties of planets and the planetary conditions required for the emergence of life. We will study the formation of our Solar System and exoplanetary systems, the distribution and properties of exoplanets, and the potential habitability of other planets/moons in our system or extrasolar systems. The course will also review science cases and possible future astrobiology studies, both in site and via remote sensing, of astrobiologically relevant environments. Toward the end of the semester a few guest lectures will highlight particularly exciting and timely topics. This course may be co-convened with ASTR/PTYS 575.

(001) Apai, Eisner

Dynamic Meteorology (3)

Thermodynamics and its application to planetary atmospheres, hydrostatics, fundamental concepts and laws of dynamic meteorology. Prerequisite(s): ATMO 300A, ATMO 300B, PHYS 426 or consent of instructor. ATMO is home department. Usually offered: Spring.

(001) Zeng

Special Topics in Planetary Science (2-3)

Course will emphasize emerging and current topical research in Planetary Science; course will be offered as needed or required.  Sample course topics might include an active spacecraft mission, an emerging research area, or new discoveries.  Course may be co-convened with PTYS 595B. Graduate-level requirements may include an additional project for graduate credit and extra questions on exams, depending on the course/topic taught. Course may be repeated for credit 3x (or up to 9 units).

(001) Lauretta | Course Page

Scientific Instrumentation for Spacecraft: Instrumentation for remote sensing and in situ measurements from the remote perspective of planetary probes, orbiting observatories, and landers have very specific requirements that affect their design and operation. In this course we will introduce several different technologies that are used to obtain spectroscopic, optical, and direct sampling measurements throughout the solar system. We will then discuss the limitation and trades associated with their use in the various environments encountered and platforms available in modern space exploration. Part 2 of a two-course series where a mission concept will be developed. 3 units. May be co-convened with PTYS 595B.

(002) Harris | Course Page

Observational Campaigns. Observational campaigns are often assembled around astronomical  events of significance such as a favorable comet apparition or as ‘under-­flight’ for mission events.  Campaigns can take various forms that focus on a combination of cadence, continuous coverage, or coordinating multiple observational techniques, all with the aim of developing a more integrated understanding of the phenomenon being studied.  In this course, students will participate in an existing campaign by becoming involved in the planning of observations, their execution, and the reduction of the data obtained.  Interwoven with these activities the, students will be introduced to the scientific questions being studied with the campaign and how the various instrumental tools are combined to address them.  Field-­observations, primarily using the telescopes of the Steward Observatory, will be a required activity.  3 units. May be co-convened with PTYS 595B.

Dynamic Metereology (3)

Thermodynamics and its application to planetary atmospheres, hydrostatics, fundamental concepts and laws of dynamic meteorology. Graduate-level requirements include a more quantitative and thorough understanding of the subject matter. ATMO is home department.

(001) Galarneau

Mars (3)

In-depth class about the planet Mars, including origin and evolution, geophysics, geology, atmospheric science, climate change, the search for life, and the history and future of Mars exploration. There will be guest lectures from professors and research scientists with expertise about aspects of Mars. There will be lots of discussion of recent results and scientific controversies about Mars. Graduate-level requirements include the completion of a research project that will be presented in class as well as a report. The research project could be analysis of Mars datasets, a laboratory experiment, or new theoretical modeling. Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E. Prerequisite(s): PTYS 411, Geology of the Solar System is strongly recommended but not required. Identical to: ASTR 542, GEOS 542. May be convened with: PTYS 442.

Exoplanets: Discovery and Characterization (3)

This course will cover observational and theoretical ideas pertinent to planets orbiting other stars. Discovery and characterization techniques will be emphasized along with associated theory. In-class format will alternate from traditional lectures, guest lectures by local or visiting experts, and student-lead presentations.

Planetary Astrobiology (3)

This course will explore the processes related to planet formation, the properties of planets and the planetary conditions required for the emergence of life. We will study the formation of our Solar System and exoplanetary systems, the distribution and properties of exoplanets, and the potential habitability of other planets/moons in our system or extrasolar systems. The course will also review science cases and possible future astrobiology studies, both in site and via remote sensing, of astrobiologically relevant environments. Toward the end of the semester a few guest lectures will highlight particularly exciting and timely topics. This course is identical to ASTR 575; may be co-convened with ASTR 475. ASTR is home department.

(001) Apai, Eisner

Special Topics in Planetary Science (1-4)

Course will emphasize emerging and current topical research in Planetary Science; course will be offered as needed or required.  Sample course topics might include an active spacecraft mission, an emerging research area, or new discoveries.  Course may be co-convened with PTYS 495B. Graduate-level requirements may include an additional project for graduate credit and extra questions on exams, depending on the course/topic taught. Course may be repeated for credit 4x (or up to 12 units). Regular grades assigned (ABC).

(001) Lauretta | Course Page

PTYS 595B (001). Scientific Instrumentation for Spacecraft: Instrumentation for remote sensing and in situ measurements from the remote perspective of planetary probes, orbiting observatories, and landers have very specific requirements that affect their design and operation. In this course we will introduce several different technologies that are used to obtain spectroscopic, optical, and direct sampling measurements throughout the solar system. We will then discuss the limitation and trades associated with their use in the various environments encountered and platforms available in modern space exploration. Part 2 of a two-course series where a mission concept will be developed. 3 units. 

(002) Harris

PTYS 595B (002). Observational Campaigns. Observational campaigns are often assembled around astronomical  events of significance such as a favorable comet apparition or as ‘under­‐flight’ for mission events.  Campaigns can take various forms that focus on a combination of cadence, continuous coverage, or coordinating multiple observational techniques, all with the aim of developing a more integrated understanding of the phenomenon being studied.  In this course, students will participate in an existing campaign by becoming involved in the planning of observations, their execution, and the reduction of the data obtained.  Interwoven with these activities the, students will be introduced to the scientific questions being studied with the campaign and how the various instrumental tools are combined to address them.  Field‐observations, primarily using the telescopes of the Steward Observatory, will be a required activity.