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Astronomy ( 6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL)


Leader: Ms Susan Feteris

Clayton First semester 2006 (Day)

Synopsis: An introduction to astronomy, in which physical ideas gained in first year Physics are developed and used to understand how data from the cosmos are obtained and interpreted. Laboratory work covering experimental techniques in astronomy involves individual and group activities. Topics include practical astronomy, remote sensing and observational techniques (including telescopes, detectors, space-based systems, IR, UV and X-ray astronomy) stars, radio astronomy.

Objectives: On completion of this unit, students will: know the main concepts of positional astronomy and be able to solve problems involving the celestial sphere, apparent motion, co-ordinate systems, time and navigation; have an understanding and be aware of the nomenclature, and be able to solve simple problems concerning the orbits of the planets and satellites, including tides; understand the various telescope systems used in positional astronomy, together with their detection systems; have an appreciation of the manner in which observational measurements are made both on earth and by space probes; be able to detail the types of information available in different spectral bands (UV, VIS, IR, g, Radio); understand the general scale, geometry and mechanics of the solar system; be able to describe the justification, methodologies and techniques of radio astronomy; know the general features of the planets and the solar systems and their satellites; be able to give an account of various theories of solar system formulation; research and report on a modern development/discovery in astronomy.

Assessment: Examination (3 hours): 50% + Written assignments: 16% + Laboratory: 34% + Students must achieve a pass mark in the laboratory component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Contact Hours: Three 1-hour lecture or tutorial classes per week and one 3-hour laboratory class per week

Prerequisites: 6 points of physics at first-year level

Prohibitions: ASP2031, PHS2211