Online reading assignment: quantum leaps, sun's outer layers (SLO campus)

Astronomy 210, spring semester 2017
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

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.

The following questions were asked on reading textbook chapters and previewing presentations on quantum leaps, and the sun's outer layers.

Selected/edited responses are given below.

Describe something you found interesting from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally interesting for you.
"I liked how chemistry is getting linked into astronomy. Hearing about the photons and stuff refreshed my memory on a few things, which I liked."

"One thing I found interesting was that electrons in atoms can emit or absorb photons depending on whether they jump to a higher or lower energy level. This is the first time I have ever learned about this!"

"That if I aim for a sunspot I can prolong my inevitable fiery demise. Not that I plan on going, but I like the science behind dying on the sun."

"That neon signs are not always made of neon because that isn't something I ever thought about and it relates to everyday life."

"Your sun presentation made me giggle. I never thought of the sun as having fire-spitting cobras, and acts like gooey miso soup. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at the sun the same again."

"How the ancient Egyptians thought the corona of the sun during a total solar eclipse was wings."

Describe something you found confusing from the assigned textbook reading or presentation preview, and explain why this was personally confusing for you.
"'Quantum leaps' were very confusing for me. I just couldn't grasp the concept. The electron rule and the photon rule made even more confusing."

"It was all pretty straightforward to me."

"The electron and photon rules are not making sense to me. I guess it's because the diagrams don't remind me of anything I learned in high school chemistry. Should they?"

"Ugh, all the chemistry. I know you said that we only have two fundamental, simple rules we gotta remember for astronomy, but my mind went blank as soon as the word chemistry showed up on the presentation."

"I haven't taken a chemistry class in four years and apparently I remember absolutely nothing."

"The electron/photon stuff was pretty confusing for me. I don't have too much experience learning about that kind of stuff, so it was hard to understand! If we could go over it in class, that would be super-helpful."

An electron in an atom must emit a photon when it jumps from a __________ energy orbital to a __________ energy orbital.
lower; higher.  ******* [7]
higher; lower.  ************************ [24]
(Both of the above choices.)  [0]
(Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)  ** [2]

An electron in an atom must absorb a photon when it jumps from a __________ energy orbital to a __________ energy orbital.
lower; higher.  **************************** [28]
higher; lower.  *** [3]
(Both of the above choices.)  [0]
(Unsure/guessing/lost/help!)  ** [2]

The exterior of the sun, from inner to outermost layers, are the:
(Only correct responses shown.)
inner: photosphere [75%]
middle: chromosphere [81%]
outer: corona [78%]

State your preference regarding miso soup.
Strongly dislike.  [0]
Dislike.  *** [3]
Neutral.  ********* [9]
Like  ****** [6]
Strongly like.  ************* [13]
(I don't know what miso soup is.)  ** [2]

Ask the instructor an anonymous question, or make a comment. Selected questions/comments may be discussed in class.
"Can you bring a big pot of miso soup to class?"

"How do you feel about miso soup?"

"Sometimes miso soup is far too salty. I do not like miso soup when it tastes too salty."

"You relating science to food is helpful."

"What is your favorite sushi roll?" (Unagi (grilled eel). But I won't say no to SPAM® musubi.)

"How many questions will be on the midterm? What's the best plan of attack for studying for the midterm?" (We'll go over the study guide and review sample questions for the midterm tonight.)

"Can you try and do more drawings on the board to explain concepts?"

"Where did you get the desktop wallpaper image for your computer? I love it so much and no matter what I Google I can't find it :(" (It's "A Starry Night in the Valley of the Roses," by the talented Jemma Salume.)

"Okay so I know that I said I used to think astrology was stupid, but I've totally changed my mind. I mean the annular solar eclipse on Sunday in Pisces was hella vibey."

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