PES 430 Celestial Mechanics I – Spring 2008 Course Syllabus

PES 430 Celestial Mechanics I – Spring 2008
TR 3:05-4:20pm ENGR 247
Course Syllabus
Instructor: Robert G. Gist
Office and Hours: ENGR 244, (MW 11, T 12:30pm)
UCCS e-mail: [email protected]
Web Site:
Text: Fundamentals of Celestial Mechanics, 2nd Ed.,
by J.M.A. Danby
Course Description: Study of the fundamental
principles of celestial mechanics including Kepler's
laws, Newton's laws, and the two-body problem.
Study of celestial coordinate systems, time keeping,
and computation of orbits from observations as well
as an introduction to perturbation theory.
Credit Hours: 3
Prereq.: PES 213, MATH 235
Attendance: Attendance will not be monitored. It is each student’s responsibility to cover any
material due to missed lectures. Call the Snow Line (262-3346) for snow closure information.
Exams: There will be two exams, one midterm and one final. I will give you at least a week’s notice
as to the exact date of the exam as well as the material you will be responsible for on each test.
Unless arrangements have been made prior to any exam, there will be no make-up exams. You
will be allowed to prepare a 3”x5” (index-sized) cue card (front & back) with any information you
would like for the exam.
Homework: Occasionally, problems from the book or other resources may be assigned to provide
practice in the course materials and will be graded to give feedback to improve understanding.
Grades: In summary, your grade will be computed as follows:
The letter grade ranges are posted on my website. Ranges include +’s and –‘s.
Disabilities: Students with disabilities should provide their letters
of certification and accommodation within the first two weeks
of class. Special accommodations for tests are required a week
prior to the scheduled exam date.
Calculators: Calculators will be allowed to be used during exams; however, enough intermediate steps
must be shown to convince me that you understand how to solve any numerical problems. Webcapable devices are not allowed to be used during exams.
Cell phones, classroom: Please show proper etiquette by turning cell phones to silent mode and
keeping conversation to a minimum during lecture. Please remain in the classroom unless an
emergency arises, since foot traffic in the class can be disruptive to other students.
R. Gist
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PES 430 Celestial Mechanics I – Spring 2008
TR 3:05-4:20pm ENGR 247
Significant Dates
Mar 13
Mar 24 – Mar 30
May 15 (Thursday)
Spring Break
Final Exam
No class
1:40 to 4:10pm
List of Topics (order and content subject to change)
Intro.; vectors, forces, review of basic mechanics
Kepler's Laws; Newton's Law of gravity; central forces
Spherical bodies; gravity field
Two-body circular orbits
Kepler's equation
Elliptical orbits
Hyperbolic and parabolic orbits
Coordinate systems
Orbit elements
Orbit maneuvers
Lambert's Theorem and application
Binary star orbits
The restricted 3-body problem
The problem of n-bodies
Non-spherical gravitating central bodies
Orbit determination
Orbit determination
Sources of orbit perturbations
Solar system stability
Lunar motion
Perturbation analysis
Time keeping systems
R. Gist
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