What kind of a course is Astronomy II (ASTR 1P02/PHYS 1P02)?
This course is primarily designed for students who need a science context credit. At the same time, the course is highly recommended as an elective for science students, in particular those who plan to become teachers, because of its strong emphasis on the scientific method and how we came to know what we currently know.
Note: ASTR 1P01 is highly recommended but is not required as a prerequisite for enrolling in ASTR 1P02.
For current and future teachers, note that the Ontario Grade 9 science curriculum includes a unit entitled "The Study of the Universe" (as part of the Earth and Space Science strand), and there is an entire course in Grade 12 science entitled "Earth and Space Science" (SES4U), two of the units of which are entitled "Astronomy (Science of the Universe)" and "Planetary Science (Science of the Solar System)."
The study of astronomy has inspired humans to revolutionize the way we understand the universe and our place in it, and has led to the development of modern science. Knowing something about this beautiful chapter in the story of intellectual history is an important goal of this course.
The online section of this course is very similar to the in-person section, and includes video clips of lectures by Professor B. Mitrović and also his pdf lecture notes. The course content is the same in both sections, the textbook is the same, and we do our best to prepare tests and exams that are at the same difficulty level. In the online section you have access to Dr. Mitrović's pdf lecture notes and video lecture clips. so we've done everything we can to make the learning resources as similar as possible in both sections.
As in ASTR 1P01, the main focus of this course is to understand something about our beautiful universe, and to understand how we came to know these things.
Writing Tests and the Final Exam Off-Campus
If you live more than 150 km away from Brock's main campus in St. Catharines, you may be able to write your tests and final exam off-campus. See Instructions for Writing Off-Campus for full details. Make arrangements as soon as possible, as deadlines are short and strict!
ASTRO (2nd Canadian Edition), by Ghose, Milosevic-Zdeljar, and Read, Nelson Education, 2016; ISBN-10: 0-17-653214-5; ISBN-13: 978-0-17-653214-7 (available at Brock's Campus Bookstore).
Professor Mitrović's lecture video clips, and lecture slides, links to which are found on the topic pages of this web site, are considered essential viewing/reading for participants of this course, in lieu of attending his lectures. There are many other links to good information on this site, which provide alternative explanations, and in some cases additional information, for those who are interested in other perspectives, or in digging deeper. It is not necessary to read any of the "additional sources of information" in order to succeed in the course, but it is provided for those who are interested.
The textbook is also considered essential reading for the course. The textbook is listed as "Required," and so we expect each student to have one. Questions on tests and the final exam are chosen from any of the essential sources of information: the textbook and Dr. Mitrović's lecture videos and lecture notes.
All information about the course material (the topics covered in the course, sample test and exam questions, etc.) are posted online at
How to Succeed in this Course
Professor Mitrović's lecture video clips, links to which are found on the topic pages of this web site, are considered essential viewing for participants of this course, in lieu of attending his lectures. Dr. Mitrović's lecture notes and Dr. D'Agostino's reading guides/summary notes provide additional support for your understanding of the course material. There are also many other links to good information on this site, which provide alternative explanations, and in some cases additional information, for those who are interested in other perspectives, or in digging deeper. These other links are not essential, and can be ignored for those who are not interested.
The best way to succeed in this course is to work through the course material (video lectures, textbook, and the other online resources) according to the schedule below. Trying to learn in a science course by cramming at the last moment is a futile, stressful process. It's far more effective to work diligently on a daily basis, as then you will internalize your learning and retain it for a lifetime. Difficult topics, which abound in science courses, take time to understand. Often one must work through a topic several times before the light goes on. This is true not just for us ordinary people, but also for the greatest scientists.
There are no shortcuts; if you do the work, regularly and persistently, you will succeed.
Dr. S. D'Agostino, office MC E219, email email@example.com
OFFICE HOURS: MC E219, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 10–11:30 am, or by appointment.
The best way to ask general questions, including questions about course content, is to use the Piazza tool at Sakai, as then others can also see the response. Contact me via email for private matters, such as missing a test due to illness.
||Units 8, 9, 10
||17 June 2017, 1–1:50 pm
||Units 11, 12
||24 June 2017, 1–1:50 pm
||7 July 2017, 9–11 am
Tests and the final exam are written at Brock or at another supervised location.
If you live more than 150 km away from Brock's main campus in St. Catharines, you may be able to write your tests and final exam off-campus. See Instructions for Writing Off-Campus for full details.
Tests and the final exam consist of multiple-choice questions. The final exam is comprehensive (i.e., covers the entire course), but may be slightly more heavily weighted on the final third of the course.
Rooms for Test 2
- If your surname begins with A–K then go to room TH 247.
- If your surname begins with L–Z then go to room TH SOS.
Important Notes on Tests
- Students who are more than 10 minutes late for the beginning of a test will not be allowed to write the test in order not to disturb others.
- Students are asked to remain in their seats until 20 minutes have passed in order not to disturb those who are still writing.
- Mark your answers on scantron sheets only in pencil. DO NOT WRITE YOUR ANSWERS ON THE QUESTION SHEETS; DOING SO WILL RESULT IN A GRADE OF ZERO.
- Students are required to write their full name on their scantron sheet and to carefully write their student number accurately in the appropriate boxes on their scantron sheet. If you code your student number incorrectly, the machine reader will not record your grade. Because the machine reader leaves your paper in the stack, and I am not informed which papers have unrecorded grades, you will have to notice that your grade has not been recorded and then you will have to come to my office and sort through all of the scantron sheets (900+ last semester) to find yours so that it can be graded by hand. Don't let this happen to you! Code your student number correctly on the scantron sheet.
If you miss a test, and you have a very good reason (documentation is required and must be presented to the course instructor in person), you will be excused from the missed tests with no academic penalty (i.e., you'll get a "no mark"), or you will be required to write the missed test along with the rest of the class the next time the course is offered, at the course instructor's discretion. The weight of an excused test will be distributed proportionally to the other test and the final exam.
If you miss the final exam for a very good reason (documentation is required and must be presented to the course instructor in person), you will be required to write a make-up exam to get a credit in the course, unless your situation is truly extreme. Final exam periods tend to be extremely busy, so there is no guarantee that it will be possible to write a make-up exam soon after the scheduled final exam; therefore, do your very best to stay strong and healthy so that this will not be a concern for you.
Medical (or other) documentation is no longer accepted in electronic format, and will not be accepted if submitted by email. Medical documentation must be presented to the course instructor in person.
Academic misconduct is a serious offence. The principle of academic integrity, particularly of doing one’s own work, documenting properly (including use of quotation marks, appropriate paraphrasing and referencing/citation), collaborating appropriately, and avoiding misrepresentation, is a core principle in university study. Students should consult Section VII, “Academic Misconduct”, in the “Academic Regulations and University Policies” entry in the Undergraduate Calendar, available here, to view a fuller description of prohibited actions, and the procedures and penalties.
A helpful web site describes Brock's academic integrity policy. Please read it carefully, as all students are expected to understand it and abide by its provisions.
The last date for withdrawal from this course without academic penalty is 23 June 2017.
Tests and Exam From the Current Course
Your test and exam scores will be posted at the Brock Gradebook, which can be accessed using Student Self Serve from your Brock Portal, NOT from Sakai. Tests and the exam with correct answers from our course are posted below. If you wish to check your responses on individual questions, you can do so by going to Room MC B203. You'll find a printout on the front counter, to the far right, containing each student's choices (ordered by student number) and the correct choices.
- June – July 2017:
Test 1 | ANSWERS
Test 2 | ANSWERS
Previous Tests and Exams, with Answers
Note that previous versions of Test 1 and Test 2 may not cover exactly the same slice of the course as the tests in the current course, due to the unusual scheduling of Spring courses, and also due to the change in textbook for Fall 2016. Therefore, don't treat the previous tests as exact reviews for our tests, but rather as samples only. Students usually find them a valuable source of practice material, but don't take them as a predictor of the exact questions you might find on the tests in this course.
Note that simply memorizing the answers to test questions found on previous tests and exams is a very poor way to learn the course material, and also a poor way of preparing for our tests. Science is not about memorization, but about understanding. To get a good understanding of the course takes time and work, going over the material carefully several times, and discussing it with others.
- January – April 2017:
Test 1 | ANSWERS
Test 2 | ANSWERS
Final Exam | ANSWERS