|Co-ordinator||Dr Nicholas Mitchell|
|Other staff||Dr Andrew Breen, Dr Geraint Vaughan|
|Pre-Requisite||None- Module is also suitable for non Physics students|
|Course delivery||Lecture||20 Hours|
|Assessment||Course work||2 Multiple Choice Tests (50% each)||100%|
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.
After taking this module students should be able to:
Additional learning activities
The sky at night : motions of the heavens. The Universe in history : ancient and Greek astronomy, the birth of modern astronomy (Copernicus, Tycho, Kepler, Galileo, Newton). Light and Telescopes.
Formation of the Solar System. The Jovian planets: atmospheres and interiors. The Terrestrial planets, formation, differentiation. Subsequent evolution of surfaces and atmospheres. Minor bodies of the Solar System : comets, asteroids, Pluto-Charon, meteors.
Stellar properties. The Sun. Star birth and interstellar matter. Stellar evolution. The deaths of stars : black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs.
The Universe of Galaxies. The Big-Bang and Cosmology.
Life in the Universe
** Recommended Text
M. Zeilek. Astronomy, The Evolveing Universe. 6th. Wiley
J. Kaler. Astronomy. Harper Collins
Kaufmann & Friedmann. Universe.