PTYS/ASTR 206

Exploring Our Solar System

Our Solar System is filled with an incredible diversity of objects. These include the sun and planets, of course, but also many hundreds of moons—some with exotic oceans, erupting volcanoes, or dynamic atmospheres. Billions of asteroids and comets inhabit the space between and beyond the planets. Each body is unique, and has followed its own evolutionary history. This class will explore our current understanding of the Solar System and emphasize similarities that unite the different bodies as well as the differences between them. We will develop an understanding of physical processes that occur on these bodies, including tectonics, impact cratering, volcanism, and processes operating in their interiors, oceans, and atmospheres. We will also discuss planets around nearby stars and the potential for life beyond Earth. Throughout the class, we will highlight the leading role that the University of Arizona has played in exploring our Solar System.

Course Objectives: Students who engage with this course will develop a broad understanding of many fundamental concepts in planetary science and gain an appreciation for the discoveries and reasoning that leads to this understanding. They will learn to collect their own data as well as gather relevant supporting information from a variety of outside sources. Throughout the semester students will be demonstrating their grasp of course material by composing written assignments at a level their peers outside of the class will understand (a.k.a., Students on the Street, or SOS). During the term project students will be assisted in working with telescopes to obtain astronomical images using their own smart phone cameras. Students will learn during in-class workshops how to use their own images to then construct a time-lapse animation. Expected Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to (1) access and use information and data from a variety of sources, including their own activities, (2) critically evaluate this information and data for reliability in supporting fundamental concepts, (3) effectively communicate an understanding of these concepts to their SOS peers by synthesizing the information and data they have gathered, (4) demonstrate practical skills with a variety of software, including Word, Excel, Keynote, PowerPoint, and image/video editing apps.

PTYS 206 is cross-listed with ASTR 206. Course requisites: Two courses from Tier One, Natural Sciences.

Course Level Other: 
Tier 2 NATS
Course Credits: 
3
Course Type: 
Undergraduate

Semester Section Instructor(s) Day/Time Location Resources
2021 Spring 001 Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna TTH 2:00--3:15p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
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2021 Spring 001 Timothy Swindle MWF 10:00-10:50a.m. Kuiper 308
2021 Spring 001 Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna TTH 2:00-3:15p.m. Kuiper 308
2021 Fall 001 Steve Kortenkamp TTH 2:00-3:15p.m. Flandrau 219B Syllabus
Course Page
2020 Spring 001 Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna TTH 2:00--3:15p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
Course Page
2020 Fall 001 Steve Kortenkamp TTH 2:00-3:15p.m. Flandrau 219B Syllabus
Course Page
2020 Fall 001 Steve Kortenkamp MW 12:30-1:45p.m. Flandrau 219B
2019 Spring 001 Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 308 Syllabus
Course Page
2019 Fall 001 Steve Kortenkamp TTH 2:00-3:15p.m. Flandrau 219B Syllabus
Course Page
2018 Spring 001 Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna TTH 12:30 - 1:45p.m. Kuiper 308 Syllabus
Course Page
2018 Fall 001 Steve Kortenkamp TTH 2:00-3:15p.m. Flandrau Syllabus
Course Page
2017 Fall 001 Steve Kortenkamp MW 1:15-2:30p.m. Flandrau Theater Syllabus
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