Bill Keel's Intro Astronomy Resources

Course details:

  • Syllabus (spring 2009)
  • Study and preparation hints
  • Publisher's online tutor for textbook The Essential Cosmic Perspective
  • Location map for astronomy viewing area in Moundville
  • Spring 2008 study guide (topical list) for final exam (PDF)
  • Practice quizzes and answers (not quite identical to the printed ones)
  • Answers to practice quizzes in the outline booklet
  • This term's quizzes to date with answers: Quiz 1 Test 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 Test 2 Quiz 4
  • Check your quiz scores on the Web: go to, log in, and select the Academics tab. Scroll to the Testing Services box, and click on Student Exam Results.
  • First Spring 2009 extra-credit assignment (due March 31). Avoid trouble - see the library's guidelines on what professors define as plagiarism. A citation a day keeps the Dean at bay...
  • Demonstrations using the PC Skyglobe program
  • AY 102 lab pages

    New references for class use:

  • Images taken during extra-credit remote-observatory session, June 24, 2008: Whirlpool Galaxy M51 Globular cluster M13 Radio galaxy with jet M87 (pseudocolor)
  • Scales of the Universe (PowerPoint) - also an annotated and amplified version)
  • Phases of the Moon
  • Mars in myth and fact
  • Planetary ring systems (PowerPoint)
  • Descent to the surface of Eros
  • Galileo at Jupiter
  • Planetary satellites (PowerPoint)
  • The outer solar system
  • The Sun
  • Leonid meteors, 2001
  • Galaxy formation and evolution (PowerPoint)
  • Life on Earth - the cosmic background
  • Did the Apollo landings really happen? (PowerPoint)

    Web references: some interesting sites for topics related to astronomy for this class


  • UA Observatory public nights
  • UA Astronomy home page
  • Interactive sky chart
  • Satellites visible from Tuscaloosa


  • Martian meteorites and evidence for microfossils
  • Latest news items from the Hubble Space Telescope
  • Sky and Telescope weekly news bulletin
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA Goddard
  • Latest releases from the Chandra X-ray observatory and infrared results from the Spitzer Space Telescope
  • Cassini orbiter and Huygens probe around Saturn
  • Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Express on and around to Mars
  • Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey 2001, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter orbiting Mars (plus Phoenix polar lander mission during 2008)
  • Pictures from the Galileo orbiter around Jupiter
  • By popular demand - Galileo's middle finger! (you folks are sick...)
  • Mars Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover
  • Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR Shoemaker) and its mission to the minor planet Eros
  • Deep Space 1 and Comet Borrelly
  • MESSENGER on the way to Mercury
  • The New Horizons probe en route to the (dwarf) planet Pluto
  • The Dawn probe en route to dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta (and maybe one more)
  • Bad Astronomy - what not to believe!


  • Latest satellite weather pictures
  • Terrestrial impact craters
  • Earth photos from space missions
  • Nighttime pictures from space: city lights
  • Recent earthquake data (US Geological Survey)
  • Real-time aurora information


  • Current phase of the Moon (from US Naval Observatory)
  • Lunar Prospector mission
  • Lunar images from the Clementine mission
  • History of lunar exploration
  • Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
  • Google Moon


  • Mars Exploration
  • Welcome to the Planets information site
  • Browse planetary maps
  • Views of the Solar System
  • Magellan radar atlas of Venus
  • Digital atlas of Mars
  • Mars Global Surveyor images of the "Face on Mars" and the Happy Face on Mars.
  • Google Mars


  • Daily sunspot pictures from Big Bear Solar Observatory
  • Daily visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray solar views


  • Planetary nebulae
  • 51 Pegasi planet reports
  • California Extrasolar Planet Detection Project
  • Google Sky


  • An introduction to galaxies
  • UA collection of galaxy pictures
  • Gallery of Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Ned Wright's fabulous cosmology tutorial from UCLA
  • Movie of stars orbiting the Galactic Center from the Max-Planck Institut für Extraterrestriche Physik
  • Stellar motions near Galactic Center and infrared variability movie from UCLA group
  • MPEG animation of galaxy collision by Frank Summers, Chris Mihos, and Lars Hernquist, from STScI


  • NASA Shuttle/Space Station web page
  • NASA Watch
  • Jonathan McDowell's weekly space newsletter
    UA Astronomy Home Page | Bill Keel's home page

    Rights, usage, and disclaimer: all original content here may be reused only with written permission of the originator. E-mail for details. The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed in this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of The University of Alabama or its officers and trustees. The content of this page has not been reviewed or approved by The University of Alabama, and the author is solely responsible for its content. (Yes, I know that sounds odd for a course home page, but them's the rules).
    Last changes: 12/2008   links checked 28 December 2008