|Delivery Type||Delivery length / details|
|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||2 x 40-minute multiple choice tests||100%|
|Supplementary Exam||1.5 Hours Written Examination||100%|
After taking this module students should be able to:
- Follow the development of ideas attempting to describe the complex observable universe in terms of underlying physical laws.
- Demonstrate a scientific grasp of the basic ideas in our understanding of the physical Universe.
The sky at night has fascinated humankind since the beginning of history. Contemporary astronomy provides us with a comprehensive picture of the physical universe, yet one in which many questions remain unanswered. This module reviews in a non-mathematical manner our present understanding of the universe and highlights important gaps in our knowledge. Topics covered include : the birth, life and death of stars (white dwarfs, black holes etc.); planets, comets and asteroids; the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe; galaxies and quasars; cosmology and the big bang. The course is suitable for undergraduates of any discipline.
Stars and planets: the formation of the Solar System. The Terrestrial planets, formation, differentiation and the evolution of surfaces and atmospheres. Jovian planets: atmospheres and interiors. Minor bodies of the Solar System : comets, asteroids, Pluto-Charon, meteors. Extra-solar planets and life in the universe.
Stellar properties. The Sun. Star birth and interstellar matter. Stellar evolution. The deaths of stars : black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs.
Introductory skills for using the Internet and other electronic sources of information.
Reading ListEssential Reading
Zeilik, Michael. (c1997.) Astronomy, the evolving universe /Michael Zeilik. 8th ed. Wiley Primo search
This module is at CQFW Level 4