Students:  Syllabi are here.

Astronomy 320 Links 

(Listed by Section)

Some links have notes after them highlighted in Red



The nature of Science  (This one is important if you want to understand how my tests work!)

About Skepticism and the Paranormal

What harm does paranormal thinking cause?  Here's actual examples:

Some Brutal Truths (Warning: Strong Language)

Fallacies of argument

 - Confusion of correlation w/causation (Go to item marked #1)

Test yourself - watch this & count the number of B-ball passes... then watch it again

Conspiracy “theories”



Applets - Ancient Astronomy (Go to animations)

Constellation myths - The stories behind them

Ancient civilizations and astronomy

    - Namoratunga

Geocentric Model (Ptolemy)

Heliocentric Model (Copernicus)

Applets - Renaissance astronomy  (Go to animations)

Phases of Venus (Before Copernicus) (After Copernicus)

Kepler’s "laws"

Have fun destroying planets with gravity:

Newton’s first principle of motion

Newton’s second principle of motion

    -Newton's satellite cannon



Applets - Light & Spectra  (Go to animations)

EM spectrum

Seeing in other colors

Blackbody radiation

Doppler effect




Applets - Light & Spectra  (Go to animations)

Types of Spectra

Spectra of different elements

Bohr Atom




Applets - Telescopes & astronomical instruments  (Go to animations)


    - Chromatic Aberration  

    - Resolution power

    - Magnification

The plans for a 100m (yes, really) telescope

Radio telescopes



 The Sun

Applets - Sun & solar energy  (Go to animations)

Solar atmosphere

    - Photosphere

    - Chromosphere

    - Corona

    - Recent pictures of the Sun


Sunspot cycle and Maunder minimum

The Earth's auroras  (Nice pictures)

Nuclear fusion of hydrogen (Wordy, but important)



 Star Properties 

Applets - Stellar properties I (Go to animations)

Measuring parallax:

Nearby Stars  (Several Animations Here)

Star magnitudes

Distance Modulus

Stellar spectra

     - About Annie Jump Cannon, one of the "stellar goddesses"

HR Diagrams (Do the interactive lab to understand the relationships)

    - Simulations (Watch stars live and die) (Watch stars live and die)


 A Star's Life 

Hydrostatic Equilibrium

Starlife  (Make and grow your own star!) 

Red giant phase of Stardeath

White Dwarfs

Main sequence turnoffs  (Page down for animation - Figure 8)




Type II (Core collapse) supernovas

    - Before and after Supernova1987a

Type I (Carbon detonation) supernovas


 Neutron Stars & Black Holes 

Neutron star and black hole flyby movies:

Neutron stars:


Gamma ray bursters

Special Relativity - Time dilation

Black holes  (Black Hole gateway, go to the Journey section)


 The Milky Way (Our) Galaxy 

Applets - Milky Way Galaxy (Go to animations)

The Milky Way

RR Lyraes


 How spiral arms are maintained:

Rotation Curve

Gravitational lensing (Look at the first few images)


 Other Galaxies 

Galaxy types

Seyfert galaxies (Has good images of Seyferts)

Radio galaxies


Active galactic nuclei

Supermassive black holes

Exotic matter

Galaxy formation  (With movies) 



Applets - Cosmology (Go to animations)

Local Group

Local Supercluster   (Called the Virgo Supercluster here) (Good images)

Possible fates of the Universe  

Curvature of Spacetime

Cosmic Microwave Background

Superstring models   (Warning: this is heavy)

The end of the Universe


 The Fringe 

Skeptical resources (again)

Fallacies of argument (again)

End of the world as we know it (failed predictions of Apocalypse)  (An excellent site!)

    - Sign up for TEOTWAWKI Alerts! (Also keeps a list of failed predictions!)

    - More end-of-the-world predictions for the near future

Effects of the full Moon

About claims that the Moon landings were faked:

    - About why you can't see stars in the Apollo pictures

    - Actual pictures of the Apollo landing sites from Lunar Orbit:

Were aliens here in the past?  Check out:

    - The likely shocking origin of many of von Däniken's ideas…

How we know that the Earth and Universe are very ancient    (Almost all text, but an easy read)  

    - Why creationists (and Intelligent Design folks) aren't doing science:

    - Non-Judeochristian creationism  

Why astrology isn't science:

    - A quick take on astrology:

Skeptical views of UFO claims:

    - Everything you ever wanted to know (no matter how depressing) about Billy Meier:

Problems with alien abductions:

    - Take the survey!

    - The Strange Case of Sr. A. Boas that took abductions to a whole new level:  

    - Betty and Barney Hill  (Podcast Transcript)

   - Fire in the Sky & Travis Walton (A hoax?) (Text material)

   - Sleep Paralysis and Alien Abductions

    - False Memory Syndrome

Protection from Alien Abductions?  (The author has affirmed to me that he is NOT joking)


 Looking for life in all the right places:

The Fermi Paradox

Drake Equation

   - Drake Equation calculators (also different forms of the Equation)  (Look under "Drake Equation")

Radio SETI (Lots of ads)

    - Help find alien radio signals with SETI @ Home  

Optical SETI

IInterstellar Travel


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