Web page for CCSF Astronomy 1 Online, Spring 2016

If you are seeing a lot of annoying markings on this web page (empty boxes, or black diamonds containing question marks), please go to the “view” menu of your browser, select “character/text encoding,” and then chose “Western (Windows)” and this page miraculously will look nice and neat.  If you do not have “Western (Windows)” as an option, any other “Western” setting will be much better than the default “Unicode” (although I recommend switching back to “Unicode” after leaving this page-- since leaving it at a “Western” setting supposedly weakens the security of your browser).


If you ever tried to send me messages to cbryja@ccsf.edu, I am unlikely to have read them.  That address tends to fill with spam, and it freezes up when it gets overfull.  If you have any questions about this course, please e-mail me at claia@phch.org instead.  Although, I do sometimes find important messages from my students in my spam folder for that address too, so it’s not perfect either.  #sigh#  Lately, I have been attempting to use a new account ( claia.bryja@mail.ccsf.edu ) exclusively for communicating with students and other faculty and staff here at CCSF, but I admit that I only check that address every few days.


I do not require students to check in when they register.  You do not have to email me before the semester starts, but please feel free to ask a question. 


The textbook for the course is the 6th edition of “The Essential Cosmic Perspective” (not the full length version that lacks the word “essential” in the title, and not any of the five earlier editions of the same name), by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit (ISBN # 978-0-32-171536-4).  It is available in a cheaper loose leaf binder version as well as regular paperback, and it is cheapest and most efficient to purchase an electronic copy.


Important Notice #1:  This course requires a mid-term exam and a final exam that must be taken in person at the CCSF main campus.  (Multiple times for taking these exams will be offered, so personal scheduling is not likely to be a concern as long as you are in the Bay Area during the mid-term and finals weeks.)  Please do not enroll in this course if you cannot attend exams in mid-March and mid-May.


I plan to hold two optional but highly recommended orientations in Rosenberg Library Room 414: 


Wednesday, January 20th, from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, and

Saturday, January 23rd, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 PM


Simply joining the class without any orientation is okay, but a majority of students do experience problems or suffer confusion-- especially regarding the course structure and expectations-- that an in-person orientation would reduce.  (An uncomfortably large number of students who miss orientation discover that they are doing things wrongly or inefficiently only long after the course begins.  I have considered making orientation an absolute requirement because of this, but I know that not all students can make it to campus that day.  But please attend if you can.)


As soon as the new semester starts, you may begin the course on your own, regardless of whether you plan to attend the optional orientation.  You will be emailed instructions how to login to CCSF’s new Insight system.  If you have not received these instructions by Tuesday, January 19th, you most likely are not checking the account that CCSF has on file as your email address.  Unless you have set it up otherwise, the default is the “mail.ccsf.edu” address assigned to you by the college, so please be sure to check that for messages.  I also often will use your CCSF email address for sending important announcements to the class, and for communicating with individual students.


Important Notice #2:  This course is “front loaded” in the sense that students are expected to work hard right away, but have less work in the last week of the semester (which is the opposite of most college courses).  We will start working at a rather fast pace, from which it will be difficult to catch up if you begin the class more than a few days late.  Because of this, and because I usually have a very long list of additional students waiting to get in if space is available, I may drop you from the course if you do not access the class and begin work within the first six days.


If you are waitlisted: 


If the class already has started and you want to add it late:  Until 2014, this class always started off absolutely full and with a very long official wait list.  But if CCSF continues to suffer from low enrollment, then many openings are likely to appear during the add/drop period.  Please wait until after January 24th to email me at my preferred email address (see above), and I can let you know your prospects.  Given how many no-shows and drops normally occur right off the bat, I will be surprised if I cannot find room for everyone who is willing to wait patiently for space to open.  My only concern-- and, after two weeks, this becomes a very big concern--  is that you’d be getting a late start to fast-paced course.


I look forward to meeting everyone-- either on line or in person-- as this course takes off!




Claia (rhymes with "hi ya!") Bryja (pronouncing the “y” like a long-I the same as the “ai” diphthong in my first name, and pronouncing the "j" in the usual English way)



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 Finally, here’s my favorite webpage of all:

Astronomy Picture of the Day