Winter/Spring Semester, 2016
Dr. Jatila van der Veen

Mostly non-mathematical presentation of our knowledge of the universe.
Includes birth and death of stars, formation of solar system, black holes, quasars, a bit of Relativity Theory (conceptual), and cosmology - the study of the origin of the Universe.

Link to Astro 1-H Spring, 2016 Conference Page

Instructor: Dr. Jatila van der Veen (see request below about what to call me)
Days/Times: Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Physical Sciences 101
Astro 1-Honors: Wednesdays, 08:15 - 09:20, EBS 123 - BY PERMISSION (...just ask if you want to join!)
Office hours at SBCC: Wednesdays, 10:00 AM - 12:00 in EBS 112
Office hours at USCB: Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 PM and Fridays, 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Office at UCSB: 2225 Broida Hall (Physics), Bldg. 572 on the interactive campus map .
Personal Website:

A request: Please do NOT ever call me Ms., Mrs., or Miss. I detest gendered titles. I have earned the right to use the title "Dr." and thus bypass any references to my gender or marital status. I also firmly respect your right to use whatever title or gendered pronoun you prefer, so please let me know how you would like to be addressed. Thank you kindly.

This class, and all of SBCC, is a safe zone for LGBTQ students.

General Guidelines:


TEXT: ASTRO 2, Seeds & Backman (available in bookstore).  You will also need to purchase a supplemental "ERTH-101 Lecture Kit" card (from cashier on top floor).  Do not get the Astro Lab kit card unless you are also enrolled in the ERTH 102 Astronomy Lab course.


ERTH101 SLO 1 - Describe the size and scale of the components of the universe and discriminate between various models of celestial motions. Predict the consequences of these motions.

ERTH101 SLO 2 - Compare and contrast various components of the solar system, how they form, and how they relate to Earth.

ERTH101 SLO 3 - Use the components of the electromagnetic spectrum to investigate stars and stellar evolution. Demonstrate how stars, nebulae, galaxies, and quasars have been used to explore the concepts of relativity and cosmology.

ASTRONOMY LAB:  The astronomy lab component of this course (ERTH-102) is not required, however is highly recommended (and may be important for transfer).  The one unit lab is held in the Planetarium and Observatory at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (click here for directions).  In lab you will learn by watching and doing.  The planetarium allows us to show celestial motions as they are happening.  The telescopes allow us to look at the sun, moon, planets, and many deep sky objects such as galaxies, planetary nebulas, supernova, and diffuse nebula.  I hope many of you will consider taking advantage of the lab component of this course.  The lab fills quickly.  If you are unable to get into the lab this semester, be sure to register early next semester.  You may take the lab any semester and it will still transfer with this lecture course as a science with a lab.

PIPELINE:  All students are required to make use of SBCC's PIPELINE service for participation in classroom activities and assignments and so that the instructor (and other students in your class) may contact you.  It is required that you check your PIPELINE account a few times per week.  To access PIPELINE, click the PIPELINE link on the website.  If you have difficulty accessing your PIPELINE account, meet with me after class so that I can help you.  Always try to use your Pipeline account to email me so as to avoid spam filtering problems.  I check my Pipeline account daily.  If you do not receive a response from me within a day or two, catch me before or after class or contact me by phone.  If you autoforward your Pipeline email, be sure to check your spam filter and/or adjust your spam filter settings so as not to filter out my all class emails with important announcements and your class grades.

ATTENDANCE:  It is my experience that students who do not attend do not succeed. This is because the nature of the discipline is such that the lecture presentations, physical demonstrations, and laboratory experience (for those enrolled in ERTH-102) are all vital and integral components of a solid foundation in this discipline. I look forward to seeing all of you in class regularly.

DROP POLICY:  Adding and dropping courses is a student responsibility, do not expect the instructor to do it for you.  In general though, students may be dropped after missing 2 classes in a row, or 3 classes total.  If there are extenuating circumstances, be sure to let me know (in advance if at all possible).  Students who do not show for the first few days of class, or who do not continue attending, will be dropped to make room for those on the waiting list trying to add.

MISSING CLASS:  By registering for this class, you have contracted with the school and with the instructor for lecture class hours, lab hours, and 2-3 homework hours out of class for every hour in class. If you must miss a class, make arrangements with the instructor to receive a copy of the classwork/group work for that day and turn it in the following week. Lecture slides will be posted after class each week, so if you miss class, please be sure to download the .pdf file before the next class and review the material you missed. If you have questions, be sure to come to office hours before class the following week and ask!

GET AHEAD:  If you consistently keep up with the material you will do well. It is easy to get ahead but difficult to catch up should you fall behind!  Material at the end of the course can be challenging. Do not let this catch you by surprise. For those who keep up, the class can be fun and rewarding!

Some useful and interesting links:

Virtual Sky Now from Las Cumbres Observatory:

Click and drag to move around inside the virtual sky.