Introduction to Astronomy

Introduction to Astronomy

Course Code: B72001Y

Course Name: Introduction to astronomy

Credits: 4.0

Level: Undergraduate

Pre-requisite: Calculus I

Lecture Time: 16 weeks, 2 sessions/week, 2 hours/session 72 hours

Instructors: Null

Course Description

This course provides an introduction of astronomy for undergraduate students who has no previous astronomy courses. In this course, students will learn the basic concept of astronomy and modern observational facts of heavenly objects of various scales. We will also describe the underlying physics that governs the evolution of the universe. We won’t go in to technical details and won’t use complex math, but try to provide students a broad view of astronomy today. The basic requirements of this course are fundamental knowledges of calculus. This course also uses knowledge in courses of general physics including mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal dynamics and statistical physics, atomic physics and optics, but we don’t require students to learn these course in advance. The course is a degree course for astronomy major students, but we also welcome undergraduate students in other majors.

Topics and Schedule:

Part I: basic concepts of astronomy

  1. 1Our universe
  2. 2Celestial coordinate
  3. 3Information hidden in light: photometry and spectroscopy
  4. 4Telescope and other instruments

Part II:

2.1 Formation of solar system and comparative planetology

2.2 Earth and Moon

2.3 Terrestrial planets

2.4 Jovian planets

2.5 Solar system Debris

2.6 Exoplanets

2.7 Habitable zone and life

Part III Star

3.1 Sun as a star

3.2 Describing a star, H-R diagram  

3.3 The interstellar Medium

3.4 Star formation

3.5 Stellar structure

3.6 Stellar evolution

3.7 How stars die

3.8 White dwarf, neutron star and black hole

Part IV: Galaxy and the Universe

4.1: Milky Way

4.2: Galaxy zoo

4.3: Galaxy cluster and dark matter

4.4: Expansion of the universe

4.5: Early universe

Part V: Future of human and life in the universe


The grades include final examination, presentation and a project report.


Astronomy Todayby Eric Chaisson & Steve Mc Millian