UVa Course Catalog (Unofficial, Lou's List)
Catalog of Courses for Astronomy    
Class Schedules Index Course Catalogs Index Class Search Page
These pages present data mined from the University of Virginia's student information system (SIS). I hope that you will find them useful. — Lou Bloomfield, Department of Physics
Astronomy
ASTR 1210Introduction to the Sky and Solar System (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
A study of the night sky primarily for non-science majors. Provides a brief history of astronomy through Newton. Topics include the properties of the sun, earth, moon, planets, asteroids, meteors and comets; origin and evolution of the solar system; life in the universe; and recent results from space missions and ground-based telescopes.
ASTR 1220Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
A study of stars, star formation, and evolution primarily for non-science majors. Topics include light, atoms, and modern observing technologies; origin of the chemical elements; supernovae, pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes; structure and evolution of our galaxy; nature of other galaxies; active galaxies and quasars; expanding universe, cosmology, the big bang, and the early universe.
ASTR 1230Introduction to Astronomical Observation (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
An independent laboratory class for non-science majors, meeting at night, in which students work individually or in small groups on observational projects that focus on the study of constellations, planets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies using binoculars, 8-inch telescopes, and imaging equipment at the department's student observatory. Prerequisites: ASTR 1210, 1220, or 1270 or instructor permission.
ASTR 1260Threats from Outer Space (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
This introductory astronomy course for non-science majors deals with harmful, or potentially harmful, astronomical phenomena such as asteroid/comet impacts, supernovae, gamma ray bursts, solar storms, cosmic rays, black holes, galaxy collisions, and the end of the universe. Physical principles will be used to evaluate the dangers involved.
Course was offered Spring 2017, Spring 2016
ASTR 1270Unsolved Mysteries in the Universe (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
An exploration of the unsolved mysteries in the universe and the limits of our knowledge for non-science majors. The class emphasizes the nature of scientific endeavor, and explores the boundaries between science, philosophy, and metaphysics. A number of thought provoking topics are discussed including the beginning and end of the universe, black holes, extraterrestrial life, the nature of time, dark matter and dark energy.
ASTR 1280The Origins of Almost Everything (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
From ancient Babylon to modern cosmology, nearly every culture on Earth has stories and myths of creation. It is a universal human desire to understand where we came. In this introductory astronomy class for non-science majors, students will explore the origins of the Universe, structure and galaxies, stars, planets and life. The course will use the content to illustrate the nature of science and scientific inquiry.
Course was offered Spring 2017, Spring 2016
ASTR 1500Seminar (1.00)
Primarily for first and second year students, taught on a voluntary basis by a faculty member. Topics vary.
ASTR 1510Seminar (1.00)
Primarily for first and second year students, taught on a voluntary basis by a faculty member. Topics vary.
ASTR 1559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
New course in the subject of astronomy.
ASTR 1610Intro to Astronomical Research for Potential Astronomy/Astrophysics Majors (1.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
For first and second year students considering Astronomy/Astronomy-Physics as a major, or current A/A-P majors. Faculty will present ongoing research to introduce students to both the subject matter and the required physical, mathematical, and computational background of contemporary astronomy research. Potential long term undergraduate research projects will be emphasized. Prerequisite: One semester of calculus and one semester of physics.
Course was offered Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
ASTR 2110Introduction to Astrophysics I (3.00)
Primarily for science majors. A thorough discussion of the basic concepts and methods of solar system, stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy and astrophysics with an emphasis on physical principles. Prerequisite/corequisite: MATH 1210 or 1310, PHYS 1610 or 2310, or instructor permission; ASTR 2110 and 2120 form a sequence and should be taken in that order.
ASTR 2120Introduction to Astrophysics II (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Primarily for science majors. A thorough discussion of the basic concepts and methods of solar system, stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy and astrophysics with an emphasis on physical principles. Prerequisite/corequisite: ASTR 2110, MATH 1210 or 1310, PHYS 1610 or 2310, or instructor permission; ASTR 2110 and 2120 form a sequence and should be taken in that order.
ASTR 2559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New Course in the subject of Astronomy.
ASTR 3130Observational Astronomy (4.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Primarily for science majors. A lecture and laboratory course that deals with basic observational techniques in astronomy. The laboratory section generally meets at night. Students use observational facilities at the McCormick and Fan Mountain Observatories. Additional work outside posted laboratory hours will be required to take advantage of clear skies. Prerequisite: ASTR 2110,2120 or ASTR 1210,1220, or instructor permission.
ASTR 3140Introduction to Observational Radio Astronomy (3.00)
An introduction to the tools, techniques, and science of radio astronomy. Discussion includes fundamentals of measuring radio signals, radiometers, antennas, and interferometers, supplemented by illustrative labs; radio emission mechanisms and simple radiative transfer; radio emission from the Sun and planets, stars, galactic and extragalactic sources, and the cosmic microwave background. Prerequisite: ASTR 2110, 2120.
ASTR 3340Teaching Astronomy (3.00)
A seminar-style class offered primarily for non-majors planning to teach science or looking to improve their ablility to communicate science effectively. In addition to astronomy content, students will learn effective teaching strategies and gain practical experience by developing and implementing their own concept-based astronomy lessons. Prerequisite: ASTR 1210, 1240; instructor permission
ASTR 3410Archaeo-Astronomy (3.00)
Open to non-science students. Discussion of prescientific astronomy, including Mayan, Babylonian, and ancient Chinese astronomy, and the significance of relics such as Stonehenge. Discusses the usefulness of ancient records in the study of current astrophysical problems such as supernova outbursts. Uses current literature from several disciplines, including astronomy, archaeology, and anthropology. Prerequisite/corequisite: A 1000- or 2000-level ASTR course, or instructor permission.
ASTR 3420Life Beyond the Earth (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Open to non-science students. Studies the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life; methods and desirability of interstellar communication; prospects for humanity's colonization of space; interaction of space colonies; and the search for other civilizations. Prerequisite/corequisite: A 1000- or 2000-level ASTR course or instructor permission.
ASTR 3460Development of Modern Astronomy (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
The 20th Century saw a revolution in our study of the origin and evolution of the universe. It was a dynamic period with the opening of the electromagnetic spectrum and the transition to "Big Science." This course is a survey of the development of modern astrophysics, with an emphasis on the second half of the 20th Century. Prerequisite: A 1000- or 2000-level ASTR course or instructor permission.
ASTR 3470Science and Controversy in Astronomy (3.00)
Open to non-science students. Investigates controversial topics in science and pseudo-science from the astronomer's perspective. Analyzes methods of science and the nature of scientific evidence, and their implications for unresolved astrophysical problems. Topics include extraterrestrial life, UFO's, Velikovsky, von Daniken, and astrology. Prerequisite/corequisite: ASTR 1210 or 1240, or instructor permission.
Course was offered Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2011
ASTR 3480Introduction to Cosmology (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Open to first-year students; primarily for non-science students. A descriptive introduction to the study of the ultimate structure and evolution of the universe. Covers the history of the universe, cosmological speculation, and the nature of the galaxies. Provides a qualitative introduction to relativity theory and the nature of space-time, black holes, models of the universe (big bang, steady-state, etc.) and methods of testing them.
ASTR 3559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of astronomy.
Course was offered Spring 2010
ASTR 3880Planetary Astronomy (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Studies the origin and evolution of the bodies in the solar system, emphasizing the geology of the planets and satellites of the inner solar system and the satellites of the gaseous planets. Topics will include the interpretation of remote sensing data, the chemistry and dynamics of planetary atmospheres and their interactions with the planetary surfaces, and the role of impacts. Prerequisite: Introductory course in geosciences or astronomy.
ASTR 3881Planetary Astronomy Laboratory (1.00)
Optional one hour laboratory for students in ASTR 3880 that provides practical experience in accessing and analyzing data related to the origin and geology of solar system planetary bodies, including the Moon, Mars, and outer planet satellites.
ASTR 4140Research Methods in Astrophysics (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Primarily for astronomy/astrophysics majors. Students will be exposed to a research methods-intensive set of mini projects,with emphasis on current active areas of astrophysics research. The goal is to prepare students for research in astrophysics. Topics will include databases and database manipulation, astronomical surveys, statistics, space observatories and observation planning, intro to numerical simulations, and proposal writing. Prerequisites: ASTR 2110/2120 and PHYS 2660, or instructor permission.
Course was offered Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
ASTR 4559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of astronomy.
ASTR 4810Astrophysics (3.00)
Basic concepts in mechanics, statistical physics, atomic and nuclear structure, and radiative transfer are developed and applied to selected fundamental problems in the areas of stellar structure, stellar atmospheres, the interstellar medium, and extragalactic astrophysics. Prerequisite: ASTR 2110, 2120 (recommended); MATH 5210, 5220; PHYS 3210, 3310 (concurrent), 3430 (concurrent), 3650; or instructor permission.
ASTR 4993Tutorial (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Independent study of a topic of special interest to the student under individual supervision by a faculty member. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
ASTR 4998Senior Thesis (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
ASTR 5010Astrophysical Processes (3.00)
An introduction to the basic physics of astronomy and astrophysics organized around learning physical principles and applying them to astrophysical objects. Physics covered will be chosen from fluid mechanics, radiative transfer, statistical mechanics, classical and quantum radiation processes, and quantum mechanics of atomic and molecular structure. This graduate course will involve more complex and difficult assignments than ASTR 4810. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission.
ASTR 5110Astronomical Techniques (3.00)
Surveys modern techniques of radiation measurement, data analysis, and image processing, and their application to astrophysical problems, especially the physical properties of stars and galaxies. Relevant laboratory experiments and observations with the department's telescopes are included. Students are expected to develop a familiarity with programming and other basic computer skills if they do not already possess them. Prerequisite: ASTR 2110-2120; PHYS 3420, 3430 or instructor permission.
Course was offered Fall 2015, Fall 2013, Fall 2011
ASTR 5260Introduction to Astrochemistry (3.00)
This interdisciplinary course will introduce advanced undergraduates and graduates to molecules and their chemistry in different sources throughout the universe. Topics include gas-phase and grain-surface reactions, astronomical spectroscopy, laboratory experiments, and astrochemical modeling. Prerequisite: There are no formal prerequisites, but some knowledge of chemical kinetics, spectroscopy, and/or the interstellar medium will be helpful.
Course was offered Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2013
ASTR 5340Introductory Radio Astronomy (3.00)
Studies the fundamentals of measuring power and power spectra, antennas, interferometers, and radiometers. Topics include thermal radiation, synchrotron radiation, and line frequency radiation; and radio emission from the planets, sun, flare stars, pulsars, supernovae, interstellar gas, galaxies, and quasi-stellar sources.
Course was offered Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2012, Fall 2010
ASTR 5350Introduction to Radio Astronomy Instrumentation (3.00)
An introduction to the instrumentation of radio astronomy. Discussion includes fundamentals of measuring radio signals, noise theory, basic radiometry, antennas, low noise electronics, coherent receivers, signal processing for continuum and spectral line studies, and arrays. Lecture material is supplemented by illustrative labs. Prerequisite: ASTR 5340 or Instructor permission.
ASTR 5420Interstellar Medium (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Studies the physics of the interstellar gas and grains, the distribution and dynamics of gas, and cosmic radiation and interstellar magnetic fields. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
ASTR 5430Stellar Astrophysics (3.00)
Studies observed properties and physics of stars including radiative transfer; stellar thermodynamics; convection; formation of spectra in atmospheres; equations of stellar structure; nuclear reactions; stellar evolution; and nucleosynthesis. Includes applicable numerical techniques. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Course was offered Spring 2016, Fall 2013, Fall 2011
ASTR 5440Stellar Astrophysics (3.00)
Studies observed properties and physics of stars including radiative transfer; stellar thermodynamics; convection; formation of spectra in atmospheres; equations of stellar structure; nuclear reactions; stellar evolution; and nucleosynthesis. Includes applicable numerical techniques. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Course was offered Spring 2014, Spring 2012, Spring 2010
ASTR 5450High Energy Astrophysics (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Introduces the physics of basic radiation mechanisms and particle acceleration processes that are important in high energy phenomena and space science. Discusses applications to pulsars, active galactic nuclei, radio galaxies, quasars, and supernovae. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
ASTR 5559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of astronomy.
Course was offered Spring 2013, Spring 2012
ASTR 5610Galactic Structure and Stellar Populations (3.00)
Explores the structure and evolution of star clusters and galaxies, with emphasis on the kinematics, chemistry, ages, and spectral energy distributions of stellar populations. The course introduces fundamental tools of Galactic astronomy, including methods for assessing the size, shape, age, and dynamics of the Milky Way and other stellar systems, galaxy formation, interstellar gas and dust, dark matter, and the distance scale. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
ASTR 5630Extragalactic Astronomy (3.00)
This course provides an overview of extragalactic astronomy. Topics include both qualitative and quantitative discussion of various types of galaxy (ellipticals, spirals, dwarf, starburst); results from theory of stellar dynamics; groups and clusters of galaxies; active galaxies; high-redshift galaxies; galaxy evolution; the intergalactic medium; and dark matter. The course is intended for advanced undergraduate astrophysics majors and first and second year graduate students. Prerequisite: Physics and Math through PHYS 2610, MATH 3250 (or equivalent); ASTR 2110, 2120 (or equivalent).
Course was offered Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2012, Fall 2010
ASTR 5640Extragalactic Astronomy II (3.00)
This course provides an overview of extragalactic astronomy. Topics include both a qualitative and quantitative discussion of star formation in galaxies, galaxy interactions and mergers, active galaxies and quasars, cosmology, structure formation in the universe, and galaxy formation and evolution. The course is intended for advanced undergraduate astrophysics majors and first and second year graduate students. Proposed: This course provides an overview of extragalactic astronomy. Topics include both a qualitative and quantitative discussion of star formation in galaxies, galaxy interactions and mergers, active galaxies and quasars, cosmology, structure formation in the universe, and galaxy formation and evolution. The course is intended for advanced undergraduate astrophysics majors and first and second year graduate students. Prerequisite: ASTR 5630 or Instructor Permission
Course was offered Spring 2013, Spring 2011
ASTR 6210Introduction to Sky and Solar System Concepts (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
The subject matter of this course is the same as ASTR 1210. Students are offered special assignments and consultation on introductory astronomy concepts on the sky and solar system related to education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate sections, but restricted to graduate students in the Curry school. Prerequisite: Curry School students; instructor permission.
ASTR 6220Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Universe Concepts (3.00)
The subject matter of this course is the same as ASTR 1220. Students are offered special assignments and consultation on introductory astronomy concepts on the stars, galaxies and universe related to education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate sections but restricted to graduate students in the Curry school. Prerequisite: Curry School students; instructor permission.
ASTR 6230Introduction to Astronomical Observation Concepts (3.00)
The subject matter of this course is the same as ASTR 1230. Students are offered special assignments and consultation on introductory concepts in observational astronomy related to education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate sections. Prerequisite: Curry School students; instructor permission.
ASTR 6340Astronomy Concepts in the Classroom (3.00)
A seminar-style class offered for graduate students in the School of Education and in-service teachers seeking credit towards (re) certification. In addition to astronomy content, students will learn effective astronomy lessons. Prerequisite: instructor permission
ASTR 6420Life Beyond the Earth Concepts (3.00)
The subject matter of this course is the same as ASTR 3420. Students are offered special reading assignments and consultation on extraterrestrial life concepts related to education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate sections. Prerequisite: Curry School students; instructor permission.
ASTR 6470Science and Controversy Concepts (3.00)
The subject matter of this course is the same as ASTR 3470. Students are offered special reading assignments and consultation on science and pseudoscience concepts related to education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate sections. Prerequisite: Curry School students; instructor permission.
Course was offered Fall 2011
ASTR 6480Introduction to Cosmology Concepts (3.00)
The subject matter of this course is the same as ASTR 3480. Students are offered special reading assignments and consultation on cosmology concepts related to education. Offered concurrently with undergraduate sections. Prerequisite: Curry School students; instructor permission.
ASTR 6559New course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of Astronomy.
ASTR 7559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New Course in the subject of astronomy.
ASTR 8500Current Astronomical Topics (1.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
UVa staff and guest speakers discuss current research problems.
ASTR 8559New Course in Astronomy. (1.00 - 4.00)
New Course in the subject of Astronomy.
ASTR 9559New Course in Astronomy (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of Astronomy.
ASTR 9995Supervised Research (1.00 - 12.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
Under supervision, the student undertakes or assists with a current research problem. This course may be repeated for credit.
ASTR 9999Non-Topical Research (1.00 - 12.00)
Offered
Spring 2017
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.