Web page for CCSF Astronomy 1 Online, Spring 2020

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.bryja@mail.ccsf.edu instead.


I do not require students to check in when they register, so please do not send me e-mail unless you have a specific question that needs answering. 


The textbook for the course will be the 8th edition of “The Essential Cosmic Perspective” (not any of the alternative versions that lack the word “essential” in the title, and not any of the other numbered editions), by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit.  You might find this 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.  I also am able to offer alternative options in Sacramento to a small number of students.)  Please do not enroll in this course if you cannot attend exams in mid-March and mid-May.


Please try your best to attend one of these optional but highly recommended orientations:


Wednesday, January 15th, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, in Rosenberg Library Room 414

Saturday, January 18th, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, in Rosenberg Library Room 205E


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.


Every semester has at least a few students who, as a consequence of skipping the orientation, miss some very significant part or aspect of the class.  These students usually drop when finally, months later, they realize their mistake.  Most of what I say at the orientation will be repeated in online text-based announcements, but it’s much more effective to hear it from me personally.


As soon as the new semester starts, you may begin the course on your own, regardless of whether you plan to attend one of the optional orientations.  You will be emailed instructions how to login to CCSF’s Canvas system.  If you have not received these instructions by Tuesday, January 14th, 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 not so much in the last week of the semester (which is the opposite of most college courses).  We will begin at a fast pace, from which it will be difficult to catch up if you start the class more than a few days late.  Because of this, and because I often 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 five business days.


If you are waitlisted:  NEW SYSTEM STARTING IN 2020

If the class already has started and you want to add it late:  Look for a “Class Add Request” option on the Web4 registration portal.  A request submitted this way will place you at the end of the “Class Authorization” list.  See above for what happens next.

Until 2014, this class always started off absolutely full and with a very long official wait list.  Then CCSF suffered a significant drop in enrollments, and adding a few days late became easy.  However, high enrollment is back in ASTR-1, and I am unsure how many openings will appear during the add/drop period.  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.

Again, late adders must wait their turn to receive an authorization notice and will need to check their email inboxes regularly.  When you receive my authorization, you will have 48 hours to use the code to register for the course through Web4.  Within hours of registering, you should be able access the class on Canvas.  However, if the class remains full or nearly full, I may choose to un-enroll any late adding student who takes more than three days to log in to the course from the day that they register.


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