Bates College

Astronomy/Geology 110

Lunar and Planetary Science

WEEK 1 - WEEK OF JANUARY 12-16, 2015

Monday, January 12

Before today's class you should have read the "Allegory of the Cave" from Book VII of The Republic by Plato. This text can be found here.

Wednesday, January 14

Before today's class you should read Moons and Planets, pp. 1-23. This is all of chapter one and the first half of chapter two. Chapter two is long and provides a lot of detailed information about the solar system. At this point you should think of this as a "road map" of where we are going- we will "revisit" many of these places many times, and you will probably come back and read parts of chapter two over later in the semester. So don't feel like I am asking you to memorize a lot of details right now. And don't think of the last sentence as an excuse not to read the chapter at all!

Thursday, January 15, LAB

The lab today is on Conic Sections.

Friday, January 16

Before today's class you should read Moons and Planets, pp. 23-45. This is the rest of chapter two. All the comments above apply. Pay attention to the list of concepts on page 44. As the author says in the preface (p. x),

A good studying technique for each chapter is to review these concepts, and define or use each one in a sentence.

There are, however, two questions that you should ask constantly when reading chapter two (and the rest of the book, and the rest of your life when anyone gives you a "fact"):

1. How do we know this?

2. How sure are we of the answer and how likely is it to change as we learn more?

Those are among the best questions you can ever ask. Most of this course is devoted to them.

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