Professor Robert Plumb

Astronomy Professor

  • Joined January 2019
  • Member of Ravenclaw
  • 10 House Points
  • 7th Year
  • Canada

Backstory

FLASH!  Most meteor showers are caused by Earth passing through debris left by a comet when the Sun heats it, vaporizing ice and kicking up dust, but there is one exception.  The Geminids are caused by Earth passing through the debris left by the asteroid Phaethon.  There were several theories as to how an asteroid could leave debris, one of which was that Phaethon is a dead comet, which left behind the debris before it died, but none of those theories, including that one, has any evidence to back it up.  Another theory has recently been put forth: the asteroid contains some sodium, and when it passes close to the Sun, the sodium gets so hot that it sizzles, dislodging debris, which causes flashes of light when Earth passes through it, hence the title of this news flash.


As much as I hate to bring up this subject, too many students have submitted plagiarized essays. Some of them have been in foreign languages. Apparently some students think that they can plagiarize a part of a web site and get away with it if it's in a foreign language. There are plagiarism detectors that will catch a plagiarized essay no matter what language it's written in. A plagiarized essay will be given a grade of 0% and cannot be retaken. Any essay written in a student's own words results in a better outcome than that, no matter how bad it is, because even if it is totally worthless and gets a grade of 0%, it can still be retaken.


Note: Please write to me in English. If necessary, use the web site "Google Translate" to translate what you write from your native language into English. Your essays and short answers should also be written in English.


My name is Professor Robert Plumb. If you want to discuss the course material or anything else with me, feel free to send me an owl. You can also ask questions of any one of my PAs. There are links to each of my PAs for each year of Astronomy on the screen for that course and year.


The new Astronomy 101 lessons have all been published. You are allowed to consult the lessons while doing assignments, but for some of the questions, the lessons don't contain the answers, only the information that will enable you to deduce the answers, which will require logical thinking. If you have completed the current Year One course, you are not required to do the new one, but it would be advisable to do so, because the material in it will be tested on your O.W.L. exam.


I was born in Toronto, Canada, on June 27, 1968. Both my parents are Muggles and I have no siblings. At the age of 8 I became fascinated with astronomy and I devoured all the astronomy books in the Toronto Public Library. In 1979, at the age of 11, I was invited to study at Hogwarts. I declined the invitation because Voldemort was running things in Britain. Instead I studied in Muggle schools, graduating from secondary school with top grades in mathematics and physics, grades ranging from good (in chemistry) to mediocre (in history) and the second-lowest grade in my class in physical training; the only boy who got a lower grade was being punished for bad behaviour. I then studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Toronto and earned my PhD in astronomy in 1992.


Then, with Voldemort having been (temporarily) defeated, I enrolled in Hogwarts as a mature student and was sorted into Ravenclaw. You won’t have heard of my having studied at Hogwarts because I kept a low profile. There I learned for the first time about magical astronomy, which fascinates me as much as Muggle astronomy ever did. I eventually graduated with some Os including Astronomy, some Es and one gentleman’s A, in DADA, because I was too unathletic to duel effectively.


There being no opening in Hogwarts for an Astronomy Professor, I returned to Toronto, where I eked out a living giving private lessons in mathematics, physics, and astronomy until a position opened up at the Richmond Hill Observatory just north of Toronto. There I met a woman with whom I instantly fell in love - a Muggle. We got married soon thereafter and we now have two sons, both Squibs, and both already grown men.


A position as Astronomy Professor in Hogwarts opened up in 2018. I applied for it and was accepted in early 2019; so now I will resume my role as an educator, this time teaching magical as well as Muggle astronomy.