course ID






14 Weeks

Semester DD


Course details

Observational Astronomy: Electromagnetic spectrum - Photometry - Flux and luminosity - Magnitudes - Photometric filters - Light curve - Color index - Interstellar medium - Extinction - Spectroscopy - Fraunhofer lines - Spectral lines - Absorption - Emission - Ionization - Recombination - Bremsstrahlung radiation - Synchrotron radiation - Cosmic distance ladder - The Astronomical Unit - Parallax - Standard Candles (Cepheids, Type Ia Supernovae) - Main Sequence Fit - Hubble Law - Proper motion - Doppler Effect and Radial velocity - Redshift - Parallax - Aberration - Refraction - Scintillation - Seeing

Spherical Astronomy: Overview of spherical trigonometry - Geographic coordinates - The celestial sphere - The horizontal system - The equatorial system - Daytime motion of the stars - Ecliptic and ecliptic coordinates - Daytime motion of the Sun - Sidereal time - Solar time - Seasons - Precession of equinoxes - Nutation - Galactic coordinates - Universal time - Julian day - Elements of Archaeoastronomy

Telescopes: Focal length - Focal ratio - Aperture - Enlargement - Resolving power - Diffraction limit - Refractor telescopes - Chromatic aberration - Spherical aberration - Astigmatism - Coma - Telescopes Reflectors: Newton, Cassegrain, Ritchey-Chrétien, Nasmyth, Coudé, Schmidt - Mountings - Active Optics - Adaptive Optics - Radio Telescopes - Radiointerferometry

Data acquisition and reduction: CCD camera - Photoelectric effect - Image scales - Pixel scales - Field of view - Saturation - Noise - Noise sources in astronomy - Poisson noise - Noise of readout - Bias images - Dark images - Flat-field images - Defringing - Signal-to-noise ratio - Absolute photometry - Differential photometry - Aperture photometry - Single slit spectrograph - Spectral resolution of a spectrograph - Resolving power of a spectrograph

Physics of the Stars: Black Body - Planck Function - Wien Law - Stefan-Boltzmann Law - Harvard Classification - Yerkes Classification - Surface Gravity - Balmer Discontinuity - Internal structure of a star: nucleus, radioactive zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, corona, spots, granulation, protuberances - Protostella - Hayashi tracks - Contraction time - Life time in main sequence - Hertzsprung-Russell diagram - Mass-luminosity Relationship - Population I and II - Main-sequence stars - Nuclear reactions: pp chain, CNO cycle - Turn off - Electronic degeneration - Red Giants branch - Helium flash: 3alpha reactions - Giants Horizontal branch - Giants Asymptotic branch - Planetary nebulae - White dwarfs - Red Clump - Supernova of type II - Neutron stars - Black holes

Binary Systems: Visual Binaries - Astrometric binaries - Spectroscopic binaries - Eclipsing binaries - Mass and radius measurements of the stars

Variable Stars: Eclipse Variables - Pulsating Variable Stars: Cepheids, WVirginis Stars, RR Lyrae Stars, Mira Variables, Semi-regular and Irregular Variables - Eruptive Variables: Flare Stars, Nebular Variables, R Coronae Borealis stars - Cataclysmic Variables: novae, dwarf novae, supernovae

Milky Way and Galaxies: Structure of the Milky Way - Galactic Components - Stellar Populations - Star Clusters - Globular Clusters - Classification of Galaxies

Solar-System bodies: Overview of the Solar System and its dynamic structure - Structures of the Planets (overview on nuclei, mantles, atmospheres, magnetospheres) - Origin of the solar system (notes on the differences with respect to the extrasolar planets) - Internal planets and related space missions - External planets and related space missions - Small bodies of the external solar system (Trojans, Centaurs, Trans-Neptunians and comets) - Small bodies of the internal solar system (NEO, impacts danger, astrobiology and main asteroids belt)

Exoplanets: Methods of detecting exoplanets - General properties of exoplanets


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Study of Astronomy

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: At the end of the course, the student will have acquired a knowledge of basic Astronomy.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: A written comprehensive report will be required on a single astronomical object and will be discussed with the class through an oral contribution.

MAKING JUDGEMENTS: at the end of the course, the student will be able to independently undertake one of the many lines of research in Astronomy and Astrophysics

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: The report on a single aastronomical object will be discussed with the class through an oral contribution.

LEARNING SKILLS: The student will be provided with all the tools to be able to continue their studies on Astronomy independently.