20110430

Online reading assignment question: big bang tags (post-instruction)

Astronomy 210 Reading Assignment 13, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

110420-postbigbangwordle
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/5638456657/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for "big bang" (post-instruction) generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA, spring semester 2011 (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/3496290/Untitled).

Students have a weekly online reading assignment (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments. Full credit is given for completing the online reading assignment before next week's lecture, regardless if whether their answers are correct/incorrect. Selected results/questions/comments are addressed by the instructor at the start of the following lecture.

Write down five words that describe or are associated with the "big bang." Keep word phrases together with no spaces between them (e.g., "forexample, likethis, nospaces"). (Graded for completion.)

[Responses have been edited to consolidate related common subjects.]

Student responses
Sections 70158, 70160
dust space planets gravity timemachine
big levels hydrogen universe stars
theory, TVshow, dontknowmuch, interesting, bang
beginning, formation, theory, finite, time
bang big theory space protons
big huge massive ginormous bang
expansion, explanation, truth, annihilation, boom
nucleosynthesis, photon, CMB, universe, galaxies
explosion whoadude bigbang galaxyformation
big, explosion, outward, universe, creation
beginning, boom, gas, dust, stars
baloney witchcraft voodoo juju magic
theory, nottrue, stars, gases, cold
generalrelativity Leonard Sheldon universe expansion
stars, explosion, beginning, theory, boom
expansion explosion formation planets stars
expansion, fusion, energy, universe, origin
birth, universe, explosion, dust, expansion
stars, years, billion, light, telescopes
big
theory, universe, expansion, supernovas, creation
big large many weird black
explosion, dense, expansion, sex, bigbang
Hubbletime antimatter recombination
discovery universe
expansion, universe, origin
crazy mystery insaneinthemembrane
cosmology science galaxies redshifts temperature
bang boom
expansion, Hubble, redshifts, distance, theory
life, beginning, discovery, hypothesis, TVshow
expansion, redshifts, galaxies, hot dense beginning, recombination, metalpoor
universe planets everything MilkyWay beginning
cosmic, hot, dense, universe, expand
atoms metals rocks gravity time
explosion, bang, big, universe, theory
bigbang everything universe start
matter antimatter hydrogen dust creation
dense hot
loud MilkyWay monkeys gases stars
big, lookbacktime, idk
TVshow, big, controversial, start, new
bigbang, universe, start, big, boom
universe, explanation, old, science, space
bigbang lol
expansion, Hubblelaw, galaxies, MilkyWay, cosmology
big, bang, large, noexplosion, awesome
big, bang, universe, expansion, galaxies, space
idk
needtoreview
God, nottrue, creation, story, dust
idk
secondsafter notexplosion space universe TVshow
constant, everywhere, big, powerful, amazing
temperature, matter, antimatter, Sheldon, Leonard
billionsofyears, religion, evolution, dense, beginning,
start stars dust
theory science explosion universe galaxies
fake poortheory lie didnthappen nottrue
expansion, slow, anticlimactic, unknown, winning
explosion beginning boom big start
explosion, beginning,
expansion implosion stuff bright stars
bigbang God expansion grow
God creation
lightspeed, gaps, redshifts, Hubblelaw, finite
beginning, explosion, expansion
hydrogen nucleosynthesis darkage longtime clumptogether
interesting, theory, inflation, endless, reionization
lookbacktime, cold, hot
TVshow again midterm beginning stars
big, explosion, hot, dense, rapid.
theory, expansion, lookbacktime, dust, metals

20110429

Astronomy quiz archive: Milky Way, cosmology

Astronomy 210 Quiz 6, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Section 30676, version 1
Exam code: quiz06SoR3


Section 30676
Quiz 6 results (max score = 40):
0- 8.0 :
8.5-16.0 : ** [low = 11.0]
16.5-24.0 : *******
24.5-32.0 : **************** [mean = 27.7 +/- 6.5]
32.5-40.0 : ************ [high = 32.5]

Astronomy quiz archive: Milky Way, cosmology

Astronomy 210 Quiz 6, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Section 30674, version 1
Exam code: quiz06n4Ke

Section 30674
Quiz 6 results (max score = 40):
0- 8.0 :
8.5-16.0 : ** [low = 11.0]
16.5-24.0 : *******
24.5-32.0 : **************** [mean = 27.7 +/- 6.5]
32.5-40.0 : ************ [high = 40.0]

20110428

Backwards-faded scaffolding laboratory/presentation: exploring GalaxyZoo

If you look further and further out, you'll see many galaxies, and even more galaxies beyond that, as seen in this super long exposure from the Hubble Space Telescope.

It turns out that even recognizing what is a galaxy and not a galaxy is difficult for computers to sort out, never mind trying to properly sort galaxies by type and properties. So who watches these galaxies?

(This is the tenth Astronomy 210L laboratory at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This course is a one-semester, optional adjunct laboratory to the Astronomy 210 introductory astronomy lecture, taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science transfer requirement.)

Crowdsourcing is the ability to harness the collective behavior (altruistic and/or compulsive) of people to organize and sort information for little or no compensation.

The GalaxyZoo project is designed to harness the power of crowdsourcing to do the preliminary identification and sorting of galaxies.

To participate in this crowdsourcing project, you do need to become a "certified" galaxy sorter, and go through a tutorial to properly train you. Don't stress about being able to pass the galaxy sorting test, if you fail, you can always try again.

Once certified, you can access the entire GalaxyZoo data base, and participate in identifying and sorting galaxies, and also formulate research questions that can be answered with this data.

But what would be even more awesome than galaxies?

Christopher Walken, that's what. But even more awesome than galaxies and Christopher Walken, is the combination of them put together (warning: link, may induce seizures).

20110427

Backwards-faded scaffolding laboratory/presentation: studying extrasolar planets

Our solar system, to scale. Eight planets, count 'em--four terrestrial ("Earth-like"), close to the sun; four jovian ("Jupiter-like"), much further away from the sun. If you think there should be nine planets, then I'm not sure which solar system you live in...

What about extrasolar planets, orbiting other stars? More and more of them are being discovered all the time--what generalizations can be made about these planets, compared to our solar system, and as a whole? (Video link: "Kepler Orrery (large & small systems).")

(This is the ninth Astronomy 210L laboratory at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This course is a one-semester, optional adjunct laboratory to the Astronomy 210 introductory astronomy lecture, taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science transfer requirement.)

Let's consider two common methods of discovering extrasolar planets, taking into consideration that these methods do not actually "see" these extrasolar planets directly.

The first method involves observing an extrasolar planet either pass behind or in front of its star as it orbits the star, such that their combined brightness will fluctuate over time. (Video link: "Distant Planet Flaunts its Light.")

The second method involves observing an extrasolar planet pull on its star as it orbits the star, such that the star will be observed to "wobble" over time, much like the ball pulls back on the hammer thrower as they revolve. (Video link: "2010 Asian Games - Men's Hammer Throw Final.")

For this lab you will be accessing an enormous amount of data on these extrasolar planets, in order to find patterns and correlations.

One way to organize data is with a histogram, or "bar chart," where each type of category is tallied up, and their numbers are shown as different heights.

Another way to organize data is with a scatter plot, or "correlation diagram," where one characteristic is plotted versus another characteristic along horizontal and vertical axes.

So taking all the extrasolar planets from the data set, here shown superimposed on the "same" solar system... (Video link: "Kepler Exoplanet Candidates.")

...and plotting two properties versus each other on scatter graph, may show the resulting data points seeming to form a pattern, and thus indicating a correlation...

...or may instead seem randomly spread out, and in this case indicating no correlation between the two properties.

So these two types of graphs, bar charts and scatter plots, are very powerful and elegant ways to organize data and to find interesting results that may suggest underlying causes and effects among extrasolar planet properties.

Your personal experience with these tools may vary.

20110426

Astronomy quiz question: galaxy recession

Astronomy 210 Quiz 6, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Observations that distant galaxies __________ is evidence that they are moving away from the Milky Way.
(A) are getting dimmer.
(B) are getting smaller in size.
(C) have redshifted absorption lines.
(D) appear much younger than the Milky Way.

Correct answer: (A)

Absorption lines that are shifted towards slightly longer values ("redshifted") indicate that its source is moving away.

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz06SoR3
(A) : 13 students
(B) : 6 students
(C) : 20 students
(D) : 0 students

"Success level": 56% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.64

20110425

Astronomy quiz question: Milky Way monolithic collapse evidence

Astronomy 210 Quiz 6, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Evidence that the Milky Way became thinner and flatter as it evolved is:
(A) that halo population stars have fewer absorption lines than disk population stars.
(B) the presence of spiral arms that stretch out from the nuclear bulge to the edges.
(C) that halo population stars are less luminous than disk population stars.
(D) that dark matter is located out in the halo, but not in the disk.

Correct answer: (A)

In the monolithic collapse model for the evolution of the Milky Way, its shape evolved from spherical to thinner and flatter over time, as supported by the older generation metal-poor stars found in the halo, versus the younger metal-rich stars found in the disk (which would have more metal absorption lines in their spectra).

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz06SoR3
(A) : 12 students
(B) : 15 students
(C) : 9 students
(D) : 3 students

"Success level": 36% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.55

20110424

Astronomy quiz question: lookback time

Astronomy 210 Quiz 6, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

The __________ makes it possible for a massive star that has already exploded as a type II supernova to still be observed as a supergiant in Earth's night sky.
(A) Hubble law.
(B) early inflation of the universe.
(C) expansion of space.
(D) finite speed of light.

Correct answer: (D)

The finite speed of light causes distant objects to appear as they did in the past, such that a massive star will still appear to be a supergiant, despite having already exploded as a type II supernova, if the light from the moment of this explosion were still traveling towards Earth.

Section 30674
Exam code: quiz06n4Ke
(A) : 6 students
(B) : 0 students
(C) : 2 students
(D) : 29 students

"Success level": 80% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.64

20110423

Online reading assignment question: keep, quit, start

Astronomy 210 Keep-Quit-Start Reading Assignment, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

110413-keep
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/5617708414/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for "keep" resolutions generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/3460644/Untitled).


110413-quit
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/5617123361/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for "quit" resolutions generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/3460768/Untitled).


110413-start
http://www.flickr.com/photos/waiferx/5617123411/
Originally uploaded by Waifer X

Wordle.net tag cloud for "start" resolutions generated by responses from Astronomy 210 students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/3461230/Untitled).


Students were asked to answer a "keep-quit-start" online reflection (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com) on their studying strategies/pitfalls (Mubayiwa, 2009).
Enter a word or brief phrase that describes what you intend to keep doing to study for this class. Explain your answer to the above question (what you intend to keep doing to study for this class).

Enter a word or brief phrase that describes what you intend to quit doing to study for this class. Explain your answer to the above question (what you intend to quit doing to study for this class).

Enter a word or brief phrase that describes what you intend to start doing to study for this class. Explain your answer to the above question (what you intend to start doing to study for this class).
[Word tags have been edited to consolidate related common subjects; student explanations are verbatim.]

Student responses
Sections 30674, 30676

Keep word tags:
ask
for help from smart science people.

flashcardquestions ("peer instruction," "think-pair-share")
Writing down the questions we go over in class helps me study them better for the quizzes.

gotoclass
i show up to class, even when im beyond tired. i missed a couple classes when i was sick and was lost for awhile.
I need to be showing up to class everyday on time ready to learn.
I go once a week so I might as well stay the whole time and get the most out of it.
I get by in the class just by showing up and paying attention so thats my game plan.
because that way I understand the material
If you pay attention in class, do the flash card question, and the activities... your set.
i clearly have a tough time on the quizzes, so i figure that if i keep coming to class and getting my in class assignment points... that will definitely help.
if i keep coming i can keep learning so i can do good on tests
being in class helps becuase you learn first hand
Going and listening is essential in how I learn
so i can understand what we are learning and get points on the in-class activities
i have missed so much due to health reasons so i plan on not missing anymore !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
coming to class
It is essential to attend class to get a good grade in this class.
Coming to class allows me to read the lectures
No matter how much you study at home on your own, if you don't come to class you don't know what the teacher expects you to know for the tests and quizs.
Well if I stop coming to class, I won't learn what I need to.
By attending class regularly I'm not missing out on important information. Taking good notes at every class discussion will help me succeed.
keep coming to class
If you miss class on a daily basis, you miss out on things that you cannot get from the book or just looking online. Also, the in-class activities are on the tests and quizzes.
show up so that i can understand what is going to be on the test. do the reading assignments and extra credit so that i have some extra points at my disposal in case of a bad quiz grade or something.
Listening to what the teacher says and writing down helps me remember what I learn.

learn
I need to keep learning in order to succeed.

listen
If I quit breathing, I would not do very well in this class because I would not be able to do any of the assignments. I would be thoroughly lost in this class if I did not listen to the lectures. And do not, under most circumstances, leave after you complete the in class activity, before the lecture. I have seen several people do this and I know that if I did that I would be toast.

mnemonics
Keep creating my own mnemonics.

motivated
I try to look at each quiz individually and study and push through each problem.

notes
I write down the notes in lecture, recopy them the next day to refresh my memory or go over things I didn't understand. I print out the flashcards and try to find the correct answers in order to study.
Taking notes in class help and understanding the flashcard questions
Taking notes that I write in my own way helps me go back and remember the information better.
Taking notes helps me remember the stuff we talked about in class.
I can lok back and refer to my notes when I study.

participate
participating and thinking about the flashcard questions. The flashcard questions and explanations really help me a lot. Reviewing old quizzes helps too.

payattention
i need to study a little bit more and take better notes, i understand most of the concepts introduced to some extent i just dont have a full grsp on hem, becaue i rarely study
If you don't show up how can you expect to pass?

practiceexams
Study old quiz
Study the past quizzes provided, take thorough notes so you can understand them and use them later.

read
You need to read to understand the material and stay up to date.
Read the book and take notes during lecture.

readingassignments ("online reading quizzes")
Keep doing the assignments; remember that we have reading assignments
The online reading asignments and extra credit opportunites are simple. As long as I put forth the effort, I can keep up with the class.
I do the homework to get as many points as possible
So if I don't do that great on the quizzes, hopefully that will help me in the long run.
easy points are free points
i need to continue to get all my homework assignments in and review my material so i dont forget it!!

review
Always review your previous notes and important stuff from the book.

study
When i study the past tests i get an understanding of the material that will be on the quiz so i succeed.
I could've studied more for some of the quizzes
I need to study more for the tests. I study really hard already, but apparently I need to do more because I haven't been doing very well. :/
Study is good for the soul-la
Because if i keep studying then i will get good grades on the quizzes and tests and i will learn the material and understand/own it.
I do not study enough and im starting to study more.
I need to get an A or B+ in your class!!!
I will continue going over my notes, class activities, keep asking questions, and continue reading the book.
I study now and I will keep studying.
I will keep working.
I intend to keep studying because i find it makes this class a lot easier.
Instead of taking Astronomy in big chunks, I will take it in small chunks everyday. This will help me remember the material better.
i would look at the in class activities and flashcard questions

try
i dont do much in this class but try, so thats about all i can KEEP doing.
give it a 100% all the time and try my hardest to succeed.


Quit word tags:
cramming
I always find myself studying for quizzes like an hour before class. That needs to stop.

daydreaming
When i let my mind think about tangents, i stop taking notes and fall behind.
I want to stay focused and not let my mind wander.
I have not been paying super close attention lately and that is never really helpful in school.

distractions
I space sometimes during class, no pun intended
Playing bulletstorm or black ops doesnt help
Stop playing in class
Wasting time that I could spend studying.

failing
im not intentionally failing my quizzes, but it sure would be nice if i would QUIT doing that....

forgetting
sometimes i forget the reading assignments, both in class and in the lab.
Forgetting to do the online assignments

freakingout
This part isn't easy to quit, but I will try to not worry so much that it gets me in a panic, and then I cannot focus on the questions during a Quiz or Exam.

hungry
Can't focus if im hungry the whole time.

lazinessSometimes I make a habit of forgetting to write down homework, therefore I don't do it.
Study more.
im lazy
idealy, i would look at the in class activities and flashcards, but i get lazy. so....i guess not be lazy

missassignments
I work before class so I'm usually worn out
I feel that I'm succeeding in the class, but the last two or three weeks I've completely spaced on the Online Reading assignments.
Stop forgetting to do the freaking online reading. -.-

missclass
because when i miss class im confused
I miss a lot of class and i need to stop if i want to do well
I have been leaving early and not studying very much and it reflects in my grade. By leaving early I miss points for the in class activities and opportunities to better understand the material.
i plan on not missing anymore classes
I need to start coming more to class in order to succeed.
I have not done this yet, but I would be thoroughly lost in this class if I did not listen to the lectures. And do not, under most circumstances, leave after you complete the in class activity, before the lecture. I have seen several people do this and I know that if I did that I would be toast.

nonotes
in most of myclasses i dont take notes, im better at learning by observing and listening, but this is such a long class that i tend to zone out at times, and as a result it's had a negative affect on my comprehension of the material
Sometimes I don't take notes then I forget what we learned and I can't look back at it.
Sometimes during class, i forget to write down something that is very important and then some things do not make sense.

noreview
I need to stop ignoring my notes a few days before the quiz because they really help me keep the knowledge solid.

nothing
I feel like I'm doing pretty good with my current process.
I haven't really found anything that I should stop doing in this class. There are things that I should start doing.
I dont intent on doing anything differnet.
I'm doing everything I can to succeed in this class.

notreading
I need to read the book so i can get the knowledge from in class lectures and also the text.
Because mostly every question is from the book!

notstudying
i intend to stop not studying

procrastination
I will try to be more on task, rather than waiting until the last minute. I also need to work on time management.
Putting things off just adds to my stress levels and makes things harder
I always procrastinate on online reading assignments and then forget to do them.
do my work when its first handed out to me and not wait for the last minute
I intend to do everything in a timely manner and stay on top of my duties
By getting my work on time, and studying more I believe that I will be able to succeed in this class.
Because I tend to wait till the last min to get things done and I think I would do better if I worked on things a little more.
I procrastinate studying and dont give myself enough time to fully understand the material
I'm going to quit leaving study times right before tests.
Waiting until the night before when it is late or even a few hours before class to study for a quiz or exam is not a good idea. I should start studying earlier to help me retain more information.
I wait until the last minute to study and do homework.
It makes me forget to do the online reading assignments because I save them for the night before they are due.

slacking
The class feels relaxed... but its not.
Slacken Off-fa is bad for the soul-la
doesnt help
I intend to quit slacking off because i find i do poorly on quizes when im not prepared.

sleeping
i fall asleep a lot. it is hard not to at night.
need caffeine to pay attention

snacking
I will snack in class less.

stressing
Stressing out

tardy
I intend to not always be late
Coming late means missing important start-of-class announcements and the like.
I am missing out on some notes by coming in 5-10 min lates.

texting
less texting in class because that way you don't pay attention to whats going on in class.
Texting distracts me from the lectures


Start word tags:
ask
Asking for more help
Ask more questions

attend
Going to class on time and going to office hours more I think would help.

caffeinate
Stimulate the mind!

flashcardquestions ("peer instruction," "think-pair-share")
I want to go over my flashcard questions and review and send them into P-Dawg so he can look them over and give me the correct answers.
it seems like the easiest way to get a handle on the material covered in class. and reading the book

focus
focus on each topic at hand and grasp the concepts

getahead
I want to feel like I am ahead of the class instead of feeling like i need to catch up
I'm going to do all I can do to get a better grade; read the book more carefully, try and fully understand the in class activity and prepare more for the quizzes.
I need to study during the days prior to the exam.

getonit
My grades are looking bad!

notes
Better notes means better review later on.
i dont really study and when i do i dont have much to look back on, so i go into the quizzes and tests with the knowledge i have from class and even then i tend to zone out alot, so for the rest of the semester, im goin to try and do better with this, and be able to come out with a solid grade, because for the most part the class makes sense

nothing
I do not need an explanation as to why you should study.

officehours
i need to start taking advantage of p dogs office hours. i complete the practice quizzes online from previous semesters and the flascard questions but i will start taking them to office hours to make sure i actually understand and have the right answers.

outline
It will help me to organize the information that i learn from the book and class

payattention
Take notes

prepare
doing well on the final should cement a solid a grade in the class for me. My quiz grades are decent. i haven't missed any class activities. haven't missed one reading assignment and i've done all the extra credit opportunites.

read
I always seem to skim through the chapters and look at bold vocabulary.
Reading the text more
i think reading the book will add to the understanding of the material.
I think maybe I need to utilize the text a little more..
I think I should read the text more carefully outside of class along with the questions and my notes, and fill in my notes that way.
help better understand the confusing things
I tend to just sit down and read the chapter just to get it over with and I should just read it in small chunks so I can actually learn and process everything.
I will read the text more.
I intend to start ready the text more carefully so that I will know the material better.
i need to start reading the book like assigned
I haven't unwrapped my book yet.
Reading helps me keep up in class
I will study the analysis of former test questions on the blog to find out why certain answers are correct or incorrect.
I will START keeping up with the reading as it is assigned rather than not leaving enough time to go through them thoroughly.
I haven't read anything in the book except for the part about the astronomers.
i plan on reading my book more studying and listening to mr p

readingassignments ("online reading quizzes")
they are free points

research
Start researching the stuff I don't understand instead of only using the book.

review
i should review past notes or flashcard questions before quizzes.
I can start to review notes before class so i can remember last weeks lectures so i can look back on to what i might have already forgotten.

serious
BEcause i didnt on this ;)

study
I need to study to get good scores on tests and quizzes.
don't think you can just remember everything you did a week ago...
I studied for the first time ever for another class and got a 100%.... it was easier than i thought
i dont do very well on quizes so if i study harder (or at all) i imagine i can do much better
reviewing my notes more than a couple times
I need all the focus I can inorder to better my self in your class
Gotta start studying more
I will start paying better attention in class and spending more time out of class studying and reviewing the class material.
If I study more I will be able to succeed and do well in the class
I will do the same thing as i am doing right now. Maybe spend more time reading that usual.
im going to start reading the chapters that correspond to what we are learning that week
I don't study for quizzes and sometimes it hurts my grade.
The more i study the better I do, and sometimes I do not study as much as i should.
Study hard for quizes and tests!! But thats hard for mee!!!! haha
I need to start studying more for quizzes.
The quizzes are very hard for me.
Studying more than once or twice a week helps memory and helps anyone understand anything bettter.
start studying
I need to spend more time studying instead of assuming I already know the material and only go over it once.
So I can get a C or better in the class.

timemanagement
Try to make better use of time.

winning
Like, Charlie Sheen status.


Previous post:
  • Online reading assignment question: keep, quit, start (Fall Semester, 2010).
  • 20110422

    Astronomy current events question: interstellar sonic booms

    Astronomy 210L, Spring Semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)
    European Space Agency new release, "Herschel Links Star Formation to Sonic Booms," April 13, 2011
    http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMK0H7S9MG_index_0.html
    The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory has observed ___________ that may have been formed by shockwaves produced by exploding stars.
    (A) bubbles of raw hydrogen.
    (B) interstellar gas filaments.
    (C) newly formed black holes.
    (D) jovian planets.
    (E) metal-rich brown dwarfs.

    Correct answer: (B)

    Student responses
    Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
    (A) : 28 students
    (B) : 5 students
    (C) : 9 students
    (D) : 6 students
    (E) : 0 students

    Astronomy current events question: Titan surface features

    Astronomy 210L, Spring Semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)
    Astronomy.com editors, "New Theory: Titan Shaped by Weather, Not Ice Volcanoes," April 11, 2011
    http://astronomy.com/News-Observing/News/2011/04/New%20theory%20-%20Titan%20shaped%20by%20weather%20not%20ice%20volcanoes.aspx
    According to NASA researchers, surface features on Saturn's moon, Titan, may be caused by __________ rather than by ice volcanoes.
    (A) wind, rain, and meteorite impacts.
    (B) tidal forces from Saturn.
    (C) ice plate tectonics.
    (D) methane geysers.
    (E) flowing glaciers.

    Correct answer: (A)

    Student responses
    Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
    (A) : 28 students
    (B) : 5 students
    (C) : 9 students
    (D) : 6 students
    (E) : 0 students

    Astronomy current events question: youngest galaxy

    Astronomy 210L, Spring Semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)
    Whitney Clavin, Ray Villard, Larry O'Hanlon, "NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy," April 12, 2011
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/news/spitzer20110412.html
    Observation of the youngest galaxy in the universe by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other space-based and ground-based telescopes was assisted by:
    (A) deep underground neutrino detectors.
    (B) new detectors on the International Space Station.
    (C) using a ground-based laser to clear hydrogen fog.
    (D) gravitational lensing by galaxy clusters in front of it.
    (E) optical interferometry, to boost resolving power.

    Correct answer: (D)

    Student responses
    Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
    (A) : 1 student
    (B) : 6 students
    (C) : 7 students
    (D) : 26 students
    (E) : 9 students

    Astronomy quiz question: Milky Way spiral arm evidence

    Astronomy 210 Quiz 6, Spring Semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    __________ is/are evidence that spiral arms extend across the Milky Way disk.
    (A) Globular cluster positions.
    (B) Positions of massive main sequence stars.
    (C) The Doppler effect.
    (D) Radio waves from cold hydrogen gas clouds.

    Correct answer: (D)

    While the luminous stars in response (B) is used to map out an indication of spiral arms and spurs in our immediate vicinity of the Milky Way, response (D) refers to the radio waves from cold hydrogen gas clouds that are relatively unobstructed by the interstellar gas and dust, and this data allows essentially the entire spiral arm structure of the Milky Way to be mapped. Response (A) refers to how the location of the center of the Milky Way is determined.

    Section 30674
    Exam code: quiz06n4Ke
    (A) : 19 students
    (B) : 8 students
    (C) : 3 students
    (D) : 7 students

    "Success level": 22% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
    Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.30

    20110421

    Backwards faded scaffolding laboratory/presentation: moons & motions

    Maybe it's a good thing that Earth only has one moon...

    (This is the eighth Astronomy 210L laboratory at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This course is a one-semester, optional adjunct laboratory to the Astronomy 210 introductory astronomy lecture, taken primarily by students to satisfy their general education science transfer requirement.)

    Galileo discovered four of Jupiter's moons, and their motion around Jupiter, while it didn't necessarily disprove geocentrism and prove heliocentrism, did manage to resolve an objection to a moving Earth--if the moon revolves around Earth, and Earth did move, then shouldn't it leave the moon behind? Note that the orbits of these moons are seen edge-on, so we see lots of eclipsing here as these moons either pass in front of or behind Jupiter.

    So the first type of eclipse is a transit, where a smaller object (in this case, Io) passes in front of a larger object (Jupiter). Because the sun is actually off to the right in this telescope view, Io's shadow on Jupiter is to the left of Io. Remember for a transit, "a small thing travels across a larger thing."

    The second type of eclipse is an occultation ("hidden," similar to a "cult"), where a larger object (in this case, the moon) passes in front of a smaller object (Saturn). So for an occultation, "a small object hides behind a larger thing."

    Today, instead of using the motion of Jupiter's moons to adjust clocks, which are now much more accurate, the timing of transits and occultations are timed in order to refine information and models of astronomical positions and sizes.

    Today you'll investigate not only the motion of the moon and Jupiter's moons on NASA's Solar System Simulator (space.jpl.nasa.gov), but also gather data on the orbital periods, transits, and occultations of other objects as well.

    Transit, or occultation?

    Transit, or occultation?

    20110420

    Physics quiz question: charging capacitor

    Physics 205B Quiz 5, Spring Semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Cf. Giambattista/Richardson/Richardson, Physics, 2/e, Problem 18.89.

    Consider this circuit with an initially uncharged ideal capacitor, and an ideal emf and ideal resistor. At t = 0 the switch 
is closed. After the switch is closed, while the capacitor is still charging, the voltage across the capacitor __________, while the voltage across the resistor __________.
    (A) decreases to zero; decreases to zero.
    (B) decreases to zero; increases to a finite value.
    (C) increases to a finite value; decreases to zero.
    (D) increases to a finite value; increases to a finite value.

    Correct answer: (C)

    From the loop rule:

    Summation(delta(V))_loop = 0 = +emf - delta(V_C) - delta(V_R),

    0 = +emf - Q/C - I*R.

    As the capacitor charges, Q increases, such delta(V_C) increases. Also as the capacitor charges, current will decrease over time, such that as I decreases, delta(V_R) decreases to zero, making delta(V_C) increase up to its limiting value of +emf.

    Student responses
    Section 30822
    Exam code: quiz05t4Uo
    (A) : 1 student
    (B) : 0 students
    (C) : 5 students
    (D) : 2 students

    Success level: 63%
    Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 1

    Physics quiz question: shorted-out light bulb

    Physics 205B Quiz 5, Spring Semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Cf. Giambattista/Richardson/Richardson, Physics, 2/e, Conceptual Question 18.22.

    Consider an ideal 16.0 V emf source connected to a 15 Ω resistor, two ideal ammeters, and two 2.2 Ω light bulbs, as shown at right. If the 15 Ω resistor were replaced with an ideal wire (and everything else were unchanged), the brightness of light bulb 1 would:
    (A) increase.
    (B) remain the same.
    (C) decrease, but will still be lit.
    (D) be completely dead.

    Correct answer: (D)

    Since there would now be a zero resistance path in parallel with light bulb 1, then the current through light bulb 2 at the junction would all go through this branch in the circuit, and none would go through light bulb 1, which is now effectively "shorted out."

    Student responses
    Section 30822
    Exam code: quiz05t4Uo
    (A) : 0 students
    (B) : 3 students
    (C) : 3 students
    (D) : 2 students

    Success level: 25%
    Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.50

    20110419

    Physics quiz question: comparing ammeter readings

    Physics 205B Quiz 5, spring semester 2011
    Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Cf. Giambattista/Richardson/Richardson, Physics, 2/e, Comprehensive Problem 18.65(b).

    An ideal 16.0 V emf source is connected to a 15 Ω resistor, two ideal ammeters, and two 2.2 Ω light bulbs, as shown at right. The __________ ammeter has a higher reading?
    (A) left.
    (B) right.
    (C) (There is a tie, with both ammeters reading zero.)
    (D) (There is a tie, with both ammeters reading non-zero values.)

    Correct answer (highlight to unhide): (B)

    Due to Kirchhoff's junction rule, the current flowing through the right light bulb is the sum of the two separate currents flowing through the 15 Ω resistor and flowing through the left light bulb.

    Student responses
    Section 30822
    Exam code: quiz05t4Uo
    (A) : 0 students
    (B) : 8 students
    (C) : 0 students
    (D) : 0 students

    Success level: 100%
    Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0