|| PH18010 |
|| ASTRONOMY |
|| 2001/2002 |
|| Dr Nicholas Mitchell |
|| Semester 1 |
|| Dr Andrew Breen |
|| None- Module is also suitable for non Physics students |
|| None |
|| None |
| Course delivery
|| Lecture || 20 lectures |
|| 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:
Have a scientific grasp of the basic ideas in our understanding of the physical Universe
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
Astronomy, The Evolving Universe. 8th. Wiley 0471135666
Astronomy. Harper Collins 0065000048
Kaufmann & Friedmann.