HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System

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Introduction to Exploring the Solar System

c Swinburne University of Technology, 2011

Welcome to HET602, Exploring the Solar System. This Activity describes how to use this site to view the course material. To progress to the next slide press the NEXT button at the bottom of the slide.

HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System

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This Unit, HET602, uses a fully online content delivery system. In this Activity we will explain how to use the online system, and the special features that this system adds to the content. In particular we will explain: • Navigating within the Activities, including – keys and faster navigation – viewing preferences – downloading a PDF version of each Activity • Structure of the Units
c Swinburne University of Technology, 2011

• How to avoid dropping out • What to do when we get it wrong • Information on this particular Unit, HET602

swin. you can see that the Viewer is exactly the same as the one in Blackboard. you have most likely followed the “Course Content” link from within Blackboard. as it gives you direct access to all of the HET602 resources on Blackboard. which will increase the screen space for viewing Activities. but without the surrounding Blackboard . the newsgroups and weekly announcements.edu. 2011 You might find this a useful way to access the course material. and your browser window looks something like this: c Swinburne University of Technology. such as this course content.au/cms/sao/HET602/. If you follow this link.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 3 OF 28 Using Blackboard and the Viewer To get to this Activity. You can also access this site (“the Viewer”) directly at http://astronomy.

and you may also click the ‘+’ sign to reveal topics in each Activity. If you ever become ‘lost’ in the Activities and want to return to the HET602 index. then you can always click on the ‘HET602 Home’ button at the bottom of each viewer page.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 4 OF 28 Using the HET602 index You have already used the HET602 index to reach this Activity. This allows you to quickly find a page if you want to return to an Activity that you have not completed. 2011 . You can select an Activity from the index list. The HET602 index lists all Modules and Activities in the Unit. c Swinburne University of Technology.

you can just click on View in Order to display the first page of the Activity in the browser. However you may want to access a particular page from the index on the right. so you can locate the page you want. usually less than 1. along with a brief description of the Activity you’ll be undertaking. . Each PDF is a relatively small file. Here. 2011 From this screen. there are a number of options on the right.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System Activity index Once you have selected an Activity from the HET602 index. Generally. which you can then print or use to work offline. you may also adjust your preferences for viewing the online material. and then read on from there. These are described in detail in the following section. PAGE 5 OF 28 c Swinburne University of Technology. you’ll reach the Activity index. You also have the option of downloading a PDF version of the entire Activity. The index also unfolds into sub-topics by pressing the +s.5 Mb.

HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 6 OF 28 Slides c Swinburne University of Technology. while HOME and END move to the first and last pages. LEFT and RIGHT arrows on your keyboard move back and forward a page respectively. if you are viewing the content from within Blackboard. . you may have to first click in the neighbourhood of the slide to be able to use the keys. SPACEBAR also will advance one slide. 2011 Using the keys The easiest way to navigate through the slides of an Activity is to use the keys. Please note that.

• Full-Screen: this will open a new browser window and display the viewer full-screen. Page numbers will still delimit different slides. The full-screen window will not be embedded in Blackboard. c Swinburne University of Technology. 2011 .HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System Using the controls PAGE 7 OF 28 At the bottom of the slides are the controls: • All-Pages: this button will display all the slides sequentially in one long page. • Home: takes you to the HET602 index. • Forward & Back: move to the next and previous page in the presentation. • Index: takes you to the index of the Activity which you’re viewing (from where you can download the PDF).

and the sizes of all images displayed. The other pages will be stored in your browser’s memory and will instantly display when you change pages. Switching this off will provide a link to the animations instead. • Slide Size: because different users have different screen resolutions (and different bandwidths available). • Autoloading: activating this option will cause the viewer to download all pages in an Activity when you access any page. we offer both a low and high resolution version of the course content. You may access this menu from each Activity index page by clicking on ’Preferences’ at the bottom of the index listing.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System Viewer preferences The online content viewing system has a number of configurable options. PAGE 8 OF 28 c Swinburne University of Technology. • Animation Display: some of our users with slow internet connections may not want large animations and movies to download automatically within the browser. 2011 . This changes the size of the slide pane.

PAGE 9 OF 28 c Swinburne University of Technology. Adobe’s PDF Reader is free and available for most platforms. The PDF will contain identical content to the online material. 2011 .HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PDF output From the Activity index. and can be used for printing or working offline. To view the downloaded content. you will need a PDF viewer. we offer the option of downloading a PDF version of an entire Activity.

We find pulsars throughout the Milky Way. no underline) and will also open in a new browser window. An example of this type of link is in the paragraph below. These will look similar to SAO links (light blue. A pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star. then this is linked to the Swinburne Astronomy Online Encyclopaedia called Cosmos. and will launch a new viewer window when you click on them. the link is to this actual page) is: For more information on links follow this link. In addition to Cosmos links. These links generally appear at the end of a slide. c Swinburne University of Technology. there will also be links to external web pages. In this case. occasionally there are links to extra material within SAO itself. the link is highlighted in a lighter blue with no underline. to distinguish it from the Cosmos link. When there is a link within the text. A new browser window will always open when you click on a COSMOS link. to avoid disrupting the Activity you are reading. that is dark blue in colour and becomes underlined when you hover your mouse over the link. 2011 .HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System Links to extra material PAGE 10 OF 28 Throughout the Activities. Click on the highlighted term to see what a COSMOS explanation looks like. you will notice there are keywords that can be clicked on for an extra explanation of astronomical terms. From time-to-time. An example of a link to SAO material (in this case.

Click to Download.700 Mb Example of a Quicktime movie. 2011 Example of an animated gif.mov Size: 0. Credit: Bronwyn Lloyd. Media: dopplershift+0. you will need to have at least Quicktime 7.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System Movies PAGE 11 OF 28 Two sorts of movies are incorporated in the online content: animated gifs and Quicktime movies. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech c Swinburne University of Technology.0 installed. Swinburne University . To download the latest version of Quicktime. follow this link. To view the Quicktime movies.

the textbook). these Activities and. then • access more detailed information presented from another viewpoint (e.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 12 OF 28 Structure of SAO Units No single learning style suits everyone. 2011 . c Swinburne University of Technology.g. where appropriate. our custom-made animations). We believe that people are likely to learn best in our Units if they are: • first presented with an engaging overview of the course content (i. and ’multiple passes’ at course content (each with a different instructional approach where possible) aids understanding.e. and then • delve deeper into topics they are interested in (via the internet and a local library if desired).

That is because an important part of your assessment (see the assessment section later for more detail) is to regularly post queries about the course content. Discussion with other students (as well as with the instructor) is an invaluable way to integrate new concepts into your world view. newsgroup contributions are a major part of our units and form a significant part of the assessment. but they won’t necessarily answer all your queries about course content (at least at first). there will be plenty of room for more general philosophical discussions too. It also puts you in contact with others who have similar interests and motivates you to keep studying! Astronomy is quite close to the old idea of physical sciences as ’natural philosophy’. This may sound like a ”cop out” by the instructors! In fact. answering other people’s queries is an active learning technique designed to involve you in consolidating your own understanding of the course content. . For these reasons.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 13 OF 28 Newsgroup discussions Passive learning usually results in limited understanding. 2011 Your instructors will contribute to the newsgroups regularly. c Swinburne University of Technology. If a query stays unanswered for a long period of time. the instructor will step in and provide an answer at that stage. and while we will spend a fair amount of time looking at practical details. and also to regularly answer other people’s queries.

c Swinburne University of Technology. 2011 The Martian volcano Olympus Mons Credit: NASA .HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 14 OF 28 Astronomical images Astronomy is also the closest equivalent to Fine Arts among the sciences! We’ll be providing you with plenty of magnificent astronomical images to learn from and also for sheer enjoyment.Viking 1 .

but we will supplement it by publishing relevant astronomy press releases and the postings of occasional ’guest contributors’ in the Unit newsgroups. c Swinburne University of Technology. fuelled by new data and images provided. We have tried to make our course content as up-to-date as possible. Keck Observatory . M. although still very basic. is increasing at an unprecedented rate. 2011 Credit: W. for example.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 15 OF 28 Up-to-date content There is a revolution taking place in astronomy . The newsgroups are accessed via the Blackboard website.our understanding of the universe around us. by the Hubble Space Telescope and the new generation of space probes such as the various Mars missions.

HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 16 OF 28 Special interest groups Some people wish to learn more about astronomy for general interest and enjoyment. For that reason we provide special interest (non-assessable) newsgroups for those interested in discussing amateur astronomy or educational approaches to the teaching of astronomy. c Swinburne University of Technology. Others have more specific reasons. 2011 X-ray image of the pulsar in the Crab Nebula Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO . such as professional development for school/college teachers and science museum/planetaria staff or to enhance their activities as amateur astronomers.

2011 .e. • problem solving in the more advanced Units of the course. on what has been mastered and what has not. in which two short tests will provide feedback on your understanding of each part of the Unit. which could involve amateur observing.instead the assessment for each Unit will be selected from the following: • newsgroup contributions. We have designed the assessment for our Units to combine testing and feedback on your knowledge and understanding of specific sections of each Unit. • online testing. internet research. and • a project. write essays combining what you have learnt from several parts of a Unit . where you will be asked to regularly post queries or extension comments about the course content.g. and also reply to other people’s postings. topic of your choice. or curriculum design involving the teaching of astronomy.but it can also motivate deep learning and provide feedback to both you and us. where you will be required to synthesize what you have learnt from several Activities in the Unit.and project work where you can concentrate on an aspect of a Unit which particularly interests you. There are no stressful end-of-semester examinations for Swinburne Astronomy Online .HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 17 OF 28 Assessment Assessment can be a pain . the instructors. • an essay. as well as opportunities to ’put it all together’ . c Swinburne University of Technology.

are always an issue with distance education courses in general. family responsibilities and lifestyle patterns which will be competing with this course for your available time. c Swinburne University of Technology. 2011 . The busiest amongst you are probably already adept at juggling commitments. with full. On the positive side. and will be able to fit this in as just another commitment . Many of you will be busy people.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 18 OF 28 How to avoid dropping out Retention rates . you have enrolled in this course because you have a specific interest in astronomy .as long as you schedule time regularly for the course. where possible. and online courses are no exception.the percentage of people who stay enrolled in a course until completion . and don’t just leave it to be done when everything else is out of the way! Everyone has busy times: try to anticipate them.it’s not just the next scheduled subject in some multiple-year undergraduate course. and get a bit ahead in the course work if you know or suspect that a week or two are coming up where you won’t have time to do any study.or part-time employment. and/or other established interests and commitments.

what postings to make to the newsgroups and what Assessment items are due. there will be no end-of-semester panic and you’ll have time to enjoy the work.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 19 OF 28 Study guide On the Unit’s Blackboard site you’ll find a link to ’Study Guide’. c Swinburne University of Technology. 2011 . Try to keep to the Study Guide schedule: if you do. which contains a schedule of what to do in each two week interval of the semester .what Activities to work through.

no one can hear you scream . through the newsgroup or by email. so you have to contact your instructors. but they also have a vital role in helping you to avoid “dropping out‘.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System Another very important factor in “avoiding dropping out” is communication. (unless they’ve installed the appropriate plug-in!). but if you approach them with an open mind and contribute regularly you’ll probably discover.but in an online course. that they can provide a real sense of community. 2011 . c Swinburne University of Technology. as many have found in online education. If you were attending a face-to-face lecture course.. At first newsgroups may seem an artificial way to communicate. the instructor(s) might notice if you fail to turn up to scheduled classes or if you have a particular problem . PAGE 20 OF 28 Newsgroups are vital Newsgroup contributions form part of your assessment. .. if you have a problem or if we’ve got something wrong. . .

some will arise.au) and we’ll reply as soon as possible.but inevitably.edu.au .edu.au/ads/support/index.swin.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 21 OF 28 When we get it wrong Technical Problems We’ve tried to design the Units to involve as few technical problems for you as possible . 2011 .edu. Problems involving the Blackboard Learning System are covered by the Blackboard Help page at http://www.swinburne. For other technical questions. email the SAO helpdesk (helpdesk@astro.html and if you are still having problems contact the University Helpdesk via servicedesk@swin. Note that we cannot answer technical queries by phone (unless they involve not being able to contact us by email!) c Swinburne University of Technology.

an advance comment about spelling: you’ll find that we use Australian spelling of some words. and the slide number(s) concerned. Also.it’s cultural! c Swinburne University of Technology. for example.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 22 OF 28 Bloopers As each Unit involves of the order of 1500 slides. don’t head for the bloopers section . remember to quote the Activity name and number. If the mistake is in an Activity. by following the Corrections and Comments link on the ”SAO Resources” link on your Unit’s Blackboard site. The slide number can be found at the top right hand side of each page. you find that we consistently use the spelling “colour” when you would have expected “color”. not US spelling. Please let us know if you come across mistakes. 2011 . So if. it is likely that a few mistakes will remain despite our ”beta testing”.

2011 Siding Spring Observatory. please tell us . please tell everybody! PAGE 23 OF 28 c Swinburne University of Technology. so • when we get it wrong. you are our best means of promoting this course. Australia Credit: Australian National University .HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System ´ To leave no cliche unturned.when we get it right.

No background knowledge of astronomy or physics will be assumed and the emphasis will be on conceptual astronomy. Exploring the Solar System. c Swinburne University of Technology.SOHO Consortium. is an introductory-level astronomy unit on the properties and probable evolution of our Solar System which will draw heavily on results from space missions past and present. ESA.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 24 OF 28 About this Unit: Exploring the Solar System This Unit. 2011 Credit: EIT . not mathematical techniques. NASA .

Venus.4: discuss patterns and motions in the night sky and the orbits of planets and our Moon in the Solar System. their zoo of natural satellites and ring systems. • Modules 5 . Earth and Mars. • Modules 2 . 2011 . Pluto and its companion Charon. and look at the properties and evolution of our Earth as a case study.17: investigate the odd-one-out among the planets. first to the debris collectively known as the Asteroid Belt. c Swinburne University of Technology. • Modules 18 . nuclear energy source. then to investigate the gas giant Jovian planets. and discusses the conditions needed to support life (as we might recognize it).7: introduce current thinking on the formation of the Solar System and the evolution of planets. • Modules 16 . • Modules 13 .15: move out past the terrestrial planets. structure. • Modules 10 . the Sun: its properties. • Modules 8 .comets and meteorites.9: look at properties and evolution of our Moon and Mercury.19: complete the Unit with a review of the dominant member of the Solar System. and the debris of the Solar System . solar activity and effects on Earth.12: contrast the properties and probable evolution of three terrestrial neighbours. and similarities between the two.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 25 OF 28 Module descriptions • Module 1: An introduction to the Unit made up of this Activity. their relatives in the Kuiper Belt.

as far as our current understanding of Solar System astronomy allows.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 26 OF 28 High hopes Although you will find out many facts and details about our Solar System. We hope you find this unit both enjoyable and challenging! Credit: NASA c Swinburne University of Technology. 2011 .unifying concepts which make sense of many of those facts and details. our main emphasis (and the main emphasis of the Assessment) will be on the basic unifying themes .

Prof Ray Norris. Astronomy Course Coordinator. We also thank our external Course Advisory Committee members: Prof Anne Green. 2011 . Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing c Swinburne University of Technology c Swinburne University of Technology. Dr Melanie Johnston-Hollitt & Dr Tanya Hill. Matthew Bailes & the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing. Dr John Reynolds. the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies. Prof John Lattanzio. Dr Lisa Kewley.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 27 OF 28 People credits This Unit has been put together through the hard work and dedication of the following people: Jon Booth Peter Caldwell Sarah Maddison Colin Love Geoff Mazzolini Debbie Sage Chris Brooks Bronwyn Halls Kurt Liffman Paul Maullin Margaret Mazzolini John Betts Artem Bourov Jordn Fenton Chris Hodson Adrian Brown Glen Mackie and with the invaluable support of Prof. and Swinburne Academic Development & Support. Sarah Maddison.

we’ve shown you how to use the online Viewer. remember to • use keys for speedier navigation. Now head back to HET602 Home to start the course! c Swinburne University of Technology.HET602-M01A01: Introduction to Exploring the Solar System PAGE 28 OF 28 Summary In this Activity. which we hope you will find convenient and simple to use. as well as presented an outline of the Unit content. • download the PDF for offline viewing. In particular. In particular. SPACE or RIGHT arrow will advance a slide. 2011 .