These notes give reading assignments for the second and third editions of Fraknoi's "Voyages Through the Universe". Odds are your instructor uses a different text and gives more or fewer exams, so the notes below are probably of little use for any other course. As a result, this page will eventually be deleted and any generally useful information moved to General Lecture Class Midterm Notes
Refer to General Lecture Class Midterm Notes
for information that is applicable to all of the midterms. In particular, note that all exams are closed-book, closed-note tests. Although you are encouraged to thoroughly prepare for each exam, and to write out practice versions of the essay exams, you will not be allowed to use any notes while taking the exams.
The second midterm counts for one-third of your semester grade. The material on the second midterm is covered by Chapters 6 through 13 of Fraknoi's book. You should also refer to the Online Astronomy Text
sections on Planets
, Satellites (Moons)
, Asteroids, Comets, and Interplanetary Debris
, and The Origin and Evolution of the Solar System
. The online material is considered to be just as important for study purposes as the material in the textbook, unless otherwise specified in class. The exam consists of two essay questions, chosen (by me) at random from essay questions 3 through 8, so concentrate on the topics covered by those questions. Detailed breakdowns of each question are available by clicking the numeric links on the essay questions page. These detailed breakdowns are your best guide to what you need to study.
When learning terms and definitions, be sure to learn them correctly. Learning something incorrectly is worse than not learning it at all. In particular, students often confuse the INTERNAL temperature of the planets, which is part of question 3, with the SURFACE temperature, which is part of question 4.