Introduction to Astronomy

Course code PHYS2100Units 10Level 2000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Astronomy is vital and exciting because it extends the frontiers of knowledge. As a science, astronomy has two important roles. It provides us with a clearer picture of our place in the universe, and it stimulates the development of new technology, much of which ultimately finds practical application. This course covers both aspects. Topics covered include astronomical coordinates and measurement, instrumental techniques, the solar system, the structure and life cycle of the sun and other stars, clusters, quasars, pulsars, and cosmology.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Workplace Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory course component in the course outline provided by the school.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 2
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will be able:

1. to enable students to acquire knowledge of the principles, processes and techniques that form the basis of modern astronomy
2. to teach students how to apply their scientific knowledge to astronomical phenomena
3. to assist students to develop their analytic and problem solving skills
4. to enhance student's laboratory and computing skills
5. to develop student's written and communication skills
Content* astronomical distances, units, and coordinate systems

* the Earth in space: seasons, tides, precession, eclipses

* instrumental techniques

* structure of planets within the solar system

* structure of the sun

* the solar wind, solar constant and solar cycle; space weather

* stars and nebulae; the life cycle of stars and the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram

* star clusters, galaxies and quasars

* introduction to cosmology
Replacing Course(s)n/a
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeThere is no assumed knowledge for this course although a basic understanding of physics and mathematics at the HSC level would be beneficial.
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Assessment Items
Essays / Written Assignments
Examination: Formal
Laboratory Exercises
Quiz - ClassProgressive Assessments
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Laboratory: for 3 hour(s) per Week for 4 weeks
Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Compulsory Course ComponentWHS-Safety Induction or Risk Assessment. Compulsory Course Component: In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory lab/fieldwork induction.
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for PHYS2100