Additional Course Outline Information
Goal of the Course
The goal of this course is to provide foundation knowledge of Astrophysics for students advancing in an astronomy or physics BSc or BSc(Hons) degree. Students will obtain basic competency in analysing and solving astrophysical problems. They will also obtain basic astrophysics data analysis skills.
• Have developed and be able to demonstrate basic scientific competency to solve appropriate problems in basic astrophysics
• Have developed and be able to demonstrate basic astrophysics data analysis skills
• Have developed and be able to demonstrate writing and associated communication skills.
Summary of the Course Content
The topics covered in this course are:
SUN AND STARS (12 lectures)
How can we study the stars? – characteristics of electromagnetic radiation and matter. Observed properties of the Sun: photosphere, chromosphere, corona; solar wind and solar activity. Distances to stars; magnitudes – apparent and absolute; stellar spectra and stellar atmospheres; Hertzsprung-Russell diagram; internal stellar structure; stellar evolution; protostar to stellar death – white dwarfs, planetary nebulae, supernovae, neutron stars and black holes.
THE GALAXY (12 lectures)
Historical introduction. Constituents of the Galaxy – stars, gas, dust, cosmic rays, dark matter. Structure of the Galaxy. Galactic coordinates. Stellar populations. Galactic (open) clusters. Globular clusters. Galactic rotation. Mass model for the Galaxy. Spiral structure. The nucleus and central bulge. The interstellar medium – gas, dust. Galactic cosmic rays. Galactic magnetic field. Evolution of the Galaxy.
EXTRAGALACTIC ASTRONOMY AND COSMOLOGY (12 lectures)
Galaxies beyond the Milky Way; Hubble’s law and the distance scale; Large-scale structure of the Universe; Active galaxies and quasars; Cosmology – Big Bang & beyond; The new cosmology.