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Astronomy Announcements

6/10 Update

posted Jun 10, 2020, 9:03 AM by Nikhil Joshi

UW has decided that you may ask for S/NS grades AFTER grades are file. A grade equal to or higher than 2.0 can be turned into a "Satisfactory" grade.  This is done by going through UW channels. Here is an excerpt of the email they sent me:

Last week, UW academic leadership approved a policy change that permits a student to request S/NS grading AFTER the course is completed and UW grades are already posted at UW. In fact, students can request their numeric grade be changed to S/NS grading with no deadline unless they are graduating from UW, at which point the grade option at that point is locked. If a student does not attend UW, their option to change to S/NS has no deadline. Also, after a student changes their grade to S/NS, they can can later request that their S/NS grade be converted back to a numeric grade – again, up until graduation from UW or with no deadline if not at UW.


Essentially, this policy update – no deadline to request S/NS grading – is only for students in courses that were impacted by the shift to remote instruction and learning in March and the remainder of this school year. Included in this are UW courses which registered students in Autumn 2019 and extended into Spring 2020 (i.e. year-long courses), as well as UW courses which registered students in Winter 2020 and extended into Spring 2020 (i.e. second-semester courses). First-semester courses were already completed before school closures, and so are not included in this policy update.


This policy currently pertains only to the 2019-20 academic year. If this policy is extended to UW courses next year, I will let you know.  


The process for a student to request S/NS grading in their UW course(s) this year will go through the UW Registrar’s office. This process will open on June 17.


Meanwhile, we will update our UWHS website with this information.


6/2 Update

posted Jun 2, 2020, 9:59 AM by Nikhil Joshi

Final assignment for Astronomy!

Please write up your slide deck that describes the work you did for the Energy from Gravity activity (where you dropped mass on to the surface of the sun, WD, NS, and BH).

Include discussion of 

1. an overview of the activity
2. description of the 1kg test case including the math needed to compute the released energy in Joules and WW2 atomic bombs
3. extending the 1kg case to hydrogen flow on WD, NS, and BH  (from energy to power)
4. extending the simulation to heating an accretion disk  (power to flux)
5. describing the peak wavelength emitted by the accretion disk (flux to lambda_peak using Wien's law)

Here's a link to the correct energy answers for (2) above.

This will be due on Fri 6/12.

5/22 Update

posted May 22, 2020, 10:53 AM by Nikhil Joshi   [ updated May 22, 2020, 11:10 AM ]

You should have received an email from Ms. Tipton that discussed a new online class schedule we want to try. The goals are
  • Limit Zoom time (and leave time to complete HW online)
  • Provide more flexibility to students (thus Zoom classes in morning and afternoon in case your responsibilities only allow mornings or afternoons)
  • Allow for advisory
  • Provide a mid-week break of sorts to catch up on homework, re-energize etc.
  • Allow for staff office hours to answer your questions and otherwise support students
  • Allow for staff meetings to coordinate, plan, deal with staff tasks 
Please see the attached PDF below to view the schedule.

I have updated the class calendar to reflect our new meeting times.   You can access the Zoom link by clicking on the event in the calendar. We will start this new schedule on Tuesday 5/26.

Calculus and Astronomy will meet twice per week per the schedule. FbD will meet on Thursdays. 

4/21 Update

posted Apr 21, 2020, 1:35 PM by Nikhil Joshi

Check you synergy email for a video on the distance ladder.

video of this morning's lecture on Hubble's law has been posted to my youtube channel.

4-15 Update

posted Apr 15, 2020, 12:32 PM by Nikhil Joshi   [ updated Apr 15, 2020, 12:35 PM ]

Please check your synergy gradebook for you quiz score. I put the questions you got incorrect in the notes for that grade, assuming you could read them. Let me know if that's not the case.

Everyone has taken the quiz so it's posted below for you to begin work on corrections.

4/14 Update

posted Apr 14, 2020, 11:47 AM by Nikhil Joshi   [ updated Apr 14, 2020, 3:00 PM ]

I entered your scores in the synergy gradebook and missed questions as a public note on the grade. Waiting for two people who missed the quiz to take it before posting the questions onine.

3/31 Update

posted Mar 31, 2020, 3:03 PM by Nikhil Joshi

Let's meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays for our online check-ins. Our next online checkin will be this Thursday April 2nd.

3/30 Update

posted Mar 30, 2020, 5:14 PM by Nikhil Joshi

check you Synergy email for the online bell schedule and the Zoom link for our first online class meeting tomorrow morning at 10am!

3/19 Update

posted Mar 19, 2020, 3:27 PM by Nikhil Joshi

Okay, I'm back!  I've got AP Calc figured out and have thought about astronomy a bit.

Here's what we're going to do for a few weeks.
  • Create assertion-evidence slide decks of your energy from gravity activity.
  • Create posters describing the activity using our new poster format.
  • Create technical documents with peer and teacher review that describe the activity.
To get started:
  1. Each student will create an assertion-evidence slide deck summarizing their work on the "energy from gravity" activity.
  2. The first draft of the slide decks should only have informative slide titles - no slide bodies or notes. Tell the story of the activity and what you learned using only slide titles.
  3. Submit the slide deck via Trello as usual by midnight Monday 3/23
  4. I will provide feedback in your document. When I have approved your slide titles, you may begin work on the slide bodies and notes.

If we get done with this and still aren't in school we will start work on your end of year projects.

Away we go!!

3/13 Update

posted Mar 13, 2020, 9:47 AM by Nikhil Joshi

Hi Everyone,

First, give me a few days to get my thoughts and ideas in place. In broad strokes I think I'll have you write up your Energy from Gravity activity, and edit each other's work to develop your technical communications skills. This will likely serve as your Chap-18 test and prepare you for the end-of-year projects. Give me a few days to put together some structure and documentation around this idea. I will also consult with UW Astro folks to see if they have any particular expectations or ideas.

Check this space soon!

So, I guess you're free to enjoy a few days of break before we get back to at least a limited form of work. Cover your coughs and wash you hands people!

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