UCSC Dept of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Astronomy 18 - Planets and Planetary Systems - UC Santa Cruz

Class Dates:

September 23 - December 7th, 2010



Tu Th noon - 1:45 PM
Earth and Marine Sciences B210

Jupiter in infrared light


Instructor: Claire Max
Office:  Center for Adaptive Optics rm. 205
Office Hours: Thurs 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Phone: 459-2049
email: max@ucolick.org

Teaching Assistant: Jenn Burt
Office: Interdisciplinary Sciences Rm 255

Office Hours: Mondays 11 am - noon

Phone: 518-461-3632
email: jaburt@ucsc.edu


Section 1: Tuesdays 4-5pm, Interdisciplinary Sciences Bldg room 165

Section 2: Fridays 12:30-1:30pm, Interdisciplinary Sciences Bldg room 165



Project Presentations Tues Nov 30th and Thurs Dec 2nd

Final Exam Tuesday Dec 7th noon-3pm EMS B210 (regular classroom)

To download Practice Final Exam (AKA Review Sheet) click HERE

Links to sample Concept Maps:

Search for Evidence of LIfe

Types of Energy Concept Map

What is a Concept Map?

Planetary Concept Maps from Bennett 2nd Edition




Course Description and Syllabus: PDF

Textbook: The Cosmic Perspective: The Solar System, 6th edition with electronic media

Authors: Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit


Reading Assignments

Due before class on...

All assignments are in Bennett: The Cosmic Perspective: The Solar System, 6th Edition

Tuesday September 28th

Our Place in the Universe:

Chapter 1 (all), and Chapter 2 sections 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4

Thursday September 30th

The Science of Astronomy; Motion, Energy, and Gravity

Chapter 3 sections 3.2 through 3.5, and Chapter 4 (all)

Tuesday October 5th
In class we will be discussing the rest of Chapter 4
Thursday October 7th

Light and Matter:

Chapter 5

Thursday October 14th

Chapter 6: Telescopes

AND Chapter 8: Formation of the Solar System

Tuesday October 19th
Chapter 13: Other Planetary Systems
Thursday October 21st
Chapter 9: Planetary Geology: Earth and the Other Terrestrial Worlds
Thursday October 28th
Chapter 10: Planetary Atmospheres
Tuesday November 2nd
Chapter 11: Jovian Planets
Tuesday November 9th
Chapter 12: Asteroids, Comets, and Pluto-Charon
Tuesday November 23rd
Chapter 24: Life in the Universe


Homework and Homework Solutions

Due before class on...
PDF File
Web link
Homework 1 Tuesday Sept 28th PDF
(not applicable)
Stellarium Activity 1 Tuesday Sept 28th PDF  
(not applicable)

Homework 2

Thursday October 7th




Homework 3 Tuesday October 19th PDF    
Study for Mid-Term Tuesday October 26th   Mid-Term Exam
Homework 4 Tuesday November 2 PDF    
Homework 5 Tuesday November 16th PDF    


Materials from Sections

Section number
Slide Show
Answer Key
Section 2 Slides PDF PPT PDF








Sample paper on volcanism

Project Timeline (what is due, and when)


Date and Title PDF PPT
Web Pages

Thursday September 23rd

Lecture 1 Tour of the Solar System and Outline of the Course

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Sept 28th

Lecture 2 Our Place in the Universe

Lecture by Prof. Jonathan Fortney




reason for seasons

raisin cake

26 orders of magnitude





Thursday Sept 30th

Lecture 3 Motion, Gravity, and the Scientific Method






Tuesday Oct 5th

Lecture 4 Gravity, Energy, and Tides




Thursday Oct 7th

Lecture 5 Light and Matter

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Oct 12th

Lecture 6 Telescopes

PDF PPT html  

Thursday Oct 14th

Lecture 7 Formation of the Solar System

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Oct 19th

Lecture 8 Extrasolar Planetary Systems

PDF PPT html  

Thurs Oct 21st

Lecture 9 Comparative Geology of the Terrestrial Planets

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Oct 26th

Mid-term Exam


Thursday Oct 28th

Project Introduction and

Lecture 10 Planetary Atmospheres

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Nov 2nd

Lecture 11 Jovian Planets

PDF PPT html  

Thursday Nov 4th

Lecture 12 Moons and Rings of the Giant Planets

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Nov 9th

Lecture 13 Asteroids, Comets, and Pluto-Charon (updated)

PDF smaller file

PDF Giant File (54 MB)

PPT html  

Thursday Nov 11th

Holiday: NO CLASS!


Tuesday Nov 16th

Lecture 14 Meteorites and Cosmic Collisions

PDF smaller file

PDF bigger File

PPT html  

Thursday Nov 18th

Lab activity on planet transits - meet in Interdisciplinary Sciences Bldg room 102 (enter on street level just to left of the big staircase)


Tuesday Nov 23rd

Lecture 15 Life in the Universe

PDF PPT html  

Tuesday Nov 30th

Project Presentations in class at regular time. Pizza will be served.


Tuesday Dec 2nd

Project Presentations in class at regular time. Pizza will be served.


Final Exam:

Tuesday Dec 7th, noon - 3pm

Practice Exam / Review Sheet      



Planetary Science Web Links

General Astronomy Web Links

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How to use the web for research

Concordia University Libraries: How to use the Web for research

Research resources, UCSC Library