Brett Bochner
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Primary Research Field: Gravitational Physics & Cosmology
(516) 463-9920 [phone]
(516) 463-3059 [fax]
Brett.D.Bochner@hofstra.edu [email]


Class Times and Places:

First Year Connections Program (FYC) ASTR 14F/11, Section B/BL:

Lecture: Tuesdays, 2:15-4:05pm, in HBERL Room 114
Recitation: Thursdays, 2:15-4:05pm, in HBERL Room 207


ASTR 11, Section 02/02L:

Lecture: Tuesdays, 4:20-6:10pm, in HBERL Room 031
Recitation: Thursdays, 4:20-6:10pm, in HBERL Room 207


ASTR 11, Section B/BL:

Lecture: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:20pm, in HBERL Room 114
Recitation: Thursdays, 6:30-8:20pm, in HBERL Room 207


Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays: 4:05-4:20pm; 6:10-6:30pm; & 8:20-10:15pm; or by appointment.

Office Location: HBERL 102D, in the Physics Department Main Suite.


Required Astronomy Textbook:

"Astronomy Today", by Eric Chaisson & Steve McMillan, 9th (2018) Edition, Pearson
Also: Hofstra Bookstore Link to Astronomy Textbook Purchases

ASTRONOMY 11, Prof. Bochner, Fall 2017: Calendar & Course Syllabus

Day & Date Topic Recommended Reading,
Chaisson & McMillan
(9th Ed.)
Tu, 9/5 Introduction and motivation for studying Astronomy:
How Astronomy affects us all. Course organizational details
(Eclipse Trip, Part 1: PowerPoint) (Eclipse Trip, Part 1: PDF)
(Eclipse Trip, Part 2: PowerPoint) (Eclipse Trip, Part 2: PDF)
Part 1 Intro & Sec.1.1;
Skim Appendices 1 & 2
Th, 9/7 The "Geography" of Space: Universe Sizes & Scales.
The Celestial Sphere. The Zodiac, Constellations, & the Seasons.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec's. 1.3-1.4
Tu, 9/12 Our Moon, and the Earth-Moon System:
Lunar Phases, Eclipses, and Tidal Locking.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec's. 1.5-1.6; Sec's. 8.4, 8.5 & 8.8
Th, 9/14 Ancient Astronomy: The Solar System Distance Ladder.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
From Geocentrism to Heliocentrism: Aristotle through Galileo.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec's. 1.2 & 2.1-2.6
Tu, 9/19
Kepler's & Newton's Laws of Motion. Rest of Ch. 2
Th, 9/21 Possible Observation Session (Evening, after Sunset).
(& Homework #1 Due!)
(Weather Permitting; To Be Confirmed.)
Visible After Sunset: Saturn!
And, briefly, Jupiter (sets 8pm).
Tu, 9/26 Heliocentrism, cont'd.: Galileo's Battle for the Heavens. No additional reading.
Th, 9/28 Newton's Gravity & Planetary Orbits;
Doppler Shifts and Detecting Extrasolar Planets.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec's. 3.5, 15.3-15.5
Tu, 10/3
Formation of the Solar System from the Interstellar Medium.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Ch. 6; Sec's. 15.1-15.2; And skim, according to your interest: Ch's. 18 & 19
Th, 10/5 Overview of the Solar System: Composition, & Layout.
Terrestrial Planets vs. Jovian Planets.
Review Ch's. 6 & 15
Tu, 10/10 Planetary Atmospheres and the Greenhouse Effect:
Life and Death for the Inner Planets.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec's. 7.2, 9.5 & 10.6
Th, 10/12 Overview: Earth, and the Terrestrial Worlds. (PowerPoint) (PDF)
(Earth as a Terrestrial World...) (PowerPoint) (PDF)
Skim Ch's. 7, 8, 9 & 10
Tu, 10/17 NO CLASSES TODAY -- Hofstra University Institute Holiday
(& HW #2 Due!)
No additional reading.
(Come prepared with questions!)
Tu, 10/24 MIDTERM! (1 Hour Exam) Based on All Material Covered in Class.
Th, 10/26 Possible Observation Session (Evening, after Sunset). (Weather Permitting; To Be Confirmed.)
Tu, 10/31 (Note: NO ASTRO LECTURE Today,
in exchange for previous Evening Observations!)

Jupiter: The Planet, its Moons, and its Faint Ring.
(And, Happy Halloween!)
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Ch. 11
Th, 11/2 Saturn: Ringed Wonder of the Solar System.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Ch. 12
Tu, 11/7 Jovian Moons: A Multitude of Tiny, Diverse "Worlds".
(Jupiter's Galilean Moons...) --> (PowerPoint) (PDF)
(Saturn's Moons, w/Titan...) --> (PowerPoint) (PDF)
Review Sec's. 11.5, 12.5
Th, 11/9 Possible Observation Session (Evening, after Sunset).
(& Homework #3 Due!)
(Weather Permitting; To Be Confirmed.)
Tu, 11/14 Uranus: An Oddly Tilted World;
Neptune: God of the Cosmic Deeps.
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Ch. 13
Th, 11/16 Possible Observation Session (Evening, after Sunset)
(Also NOTE: TERMPAPERS Due Tonight!)
(Weather Permitting; To Be Confirmed.)
(And: Note that the Leonid Meteor Shower
is Tomorrow Night, Nov. 17, 2017!)
Tu, 11/21 Pluto, "Plutoids", "Dwarf Planets", and the Great Beyond:
One "Planet X", or Millions of Them?
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec. 14.3
Th, 11/23
NO CLASSES TODAY -- Thanksgiving Holiday
Tu, 11/28 The "Debris" of the Solar System:
Moons, Meteors, Asteroids, & Comets
(PowerPoint) (PDF)
Sec's. 14.1, 14.2 & 14.4; Sec's. 6.6-6.7
Th, 11/30
Life in the Universe: Are We Alone? Are We Lucky to be Here? Extrasolar Planets, Drake's Eq., UFO's, and SETI. Review Sec's. 15.3-15.5; Read Ch. 28
Tu, 12/5 The Sun and its Surface:
A Maelstrom of Turbulence under a Sunny Face.
Sec's. 16.1-16.5
Th, 12/7
(Covers all class material.)
No additional reading.
(Come prepared with questions!)

ASTR 11 Final Exam Dates: To Be Determined...
Most likely on either Thursday, 12/14 or Tuesday, 12/19/2017.

Some Astronomy Links:

NASA's Planetary Photojournal Site
NASA's Photo Gallery
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
The Hubble Space Telescope Institute's "News & Views" Site
The "Hubble Heritage" Site
Videos for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave ("LIGO") Collaboration
Video from the first LIGO detection, "Journey of a Gravitational Wave", from merging Black Holes!
The Offical Site of the Nobel Prize Committee in Physics (& other categories)
The "Extrasolar Planets" Catalog & Encyclopaedia
The "Transit Search Project" for finding Extrasolar Planets
The "Dark Matter Hub" for a gallery of links to Dark Matter Detection Experiment Collaborations
The CNN.com Technology/Science News Site
The American Astronomical Society Homepage
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Homepage
Chris Dolan provides a good site for stars, constellations, Messier images, etc.
Niel Brandt's Astronomy 1 Homepage
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), and their catalog of Messier Objects
"From Stargazers to Starships", a series of interesting lessons on Classical Astronomy and basic Space Physics and Math
MSN's Celebrate Science & Technology
"The Nucleus": Resources for Physics and Astronomy Undergraduates
Up-to-date Sunspot Pictures and Astro Info at SpaceWeather.com
Observe images & animations of the Sun at "SOHO: Exploring the Sun"
NASA's "Virtual Telescope"
The Night Sky from Mauna Kea and Kitt Peak
USNO's Astronomical Data Services Site (Sunrise & Moonrise times, Lunar Phases, etc.)
Current & Long-Term Local Weather Forecasts