John E. Erdei
Assistant Dean

College of Arts and Sciences

Associate Professor
Department of Physics
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-2314



Physics Office

Office of the Dean

You are the
Hit Counter
visitor to this page


Ball House and Observatory Quebec City



PHY250 is a single term introductory course in astronomy.

Many of the students enrolled in PHY250 are education majors.  The State of Ohio defines Academic Content Standards for "Earth and Space Sciences" which serve as benchmarks for K-12 instruction.  Detailed information regarding the State of Ohio standards for teaching can be found in the "Standards and Instruction" link at the Ohio Department of Education website.  If you prefer, you can go directly to the Academic Content Standards where you can review content standards for science and mathematics, as well as all other content areas, or you can go directly to the Science Academic Content Standards.

Syllabus for PHY250


All test must be taken at the assigned time. A makeup exam is scheduled for those with a LEGITIMATE WRITTEN MEDICAL EXCUSE. Missed test without such an excuse will be assigned a zero. Makeups are not given to replace a low score on one of the four tests.

MAKEUPS: The makeup exam day is listed on the calendar. All makeups will be given at this time. Those with a valid excuse must obtain a REQUEST FOR MAKEUP EXAM form from the instructor of the course. The form must be filled out and signed by the instructor. Students who have not filled out a request form will not be allowed to take a makeup exam.

For more detailed or specific information related to class, click on the link below:

Current Syllabus

Access to Astronomy Gradebook

In order to open the grade book you will need to set a password first by clicking on the link below.  You can then use that password to open the grade book in the PHY201 Grade Book link. 

Set a Password to Open the Gradebook

PHY250 Gradebook

Exam Format

The link below provides information regarding the format of the exams for the current course.

Exam Format

Group (Outside of Class) Exercises

Find the members of your Working Group by clicking on the link below.  You can find out which working group you are in by opening the PHY250 Gradebook.  Your Working Group number is listed in your records in the gradebook.

Working Group Member List

Find the working group exercises by clicking on the following link.

Working Group Exercises

Basic Skills Quizzes

The area of Astronomy relies upon an understanding of many areas of physics and mathematics.  In order to demonstrate (or build) skills that will be relied upon during the course, each student enrolled in PHY250 must complete a series of electronic Basic Skills Quizzes.  These quizzes demonstrate knowledge in these basic areas and will be used as a stepping stone to techniques that will be utilized during the course.

Basic Skills Quiz Main Page

Lecture Materials

The first link will take you to lecture material presented in a Powerpoint presentation format.  The second link contains other lecture materials not in a powerpoint format.

Powerpoints Based on Lectures

Other Lecture Materials

Some Resource Sites

Note:  There has been some problems with the first Messier site, so I have listed three different sites.  The first Messier catalog is, in my opinion, the best, but the others have the information you need as well, but no photos.  The fourth site contains photos but no data.

Note:  Angular diameters in these catalogs are given in minutes (symbolized with a ').  A minute is defined so that there are 60 minutes in one degree.  Therefore, for example, an angular diameter of 30' corresponds to an angular diameter of one half degree.

* Astronomy Timeline
* Sky Maps
* GLOBE at Night
* The Messier Catalog
* The Messier Catalog
* The Messier Catalog (photos of each object)
* The Best of the Hubble Space Telescope
* Exoplanets
* SETI at Home
* Kepler: A Search for Habitable Planets
* PlanetQuest
Satellite Trackers
* NASA Real Time Satellite Tracking Site
Naked Eye Astronomy Sites
* Astronomy Without a Telescope
Dayton Resident and Amateur Astronomer Benjamin Tiefert Site (includes some info about observing the Perseid Meteor Shower at Caesar's Creek SP)
Blackbody Radiation (Continuous Spectra)
* Adjustable Blackbody Radiation Graph
* Orbital Telescopes
* How to Build a Telescope
* Catching the Light - Astrophotography
* Astrophotography - Cameras, Photos, Film
Astrophotography - Image Processing
* CCD Astroimaging Information
The Solar System
* NASA - The Solar System (Includes Space Missions)
* Chronology of Space Exploration (a list of all space probe missions)
* NSSDC Photo Gallery (solar system and the universe)
* Mariner Mission and Images
* Viking Mission and Images
* Voyager Mission and Images
* Map of Near Earth Objects