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PHYS1005: Introduction to Astronomy & Space SciencePowerPoint Presentation

PHYS1005: Introduction to Astronomy & Space Science

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PHYS1005: Introduction to Astronomy & Space Science

- Broad introduction to modern astronomy and astrophysics
- Apply simple physical principles to very distant objects (well beyond reach) and learn about their nature
- Nature of the course:
- Mostly lectures, but including 4 problem classes + revision lectures
- 3 lectures/week

- Assessment:
- 80% by examination (end January)
- 20% from multiple-choice, computer-based quiz (beginning January; 2 practice sessions planned for Nov and Dec – see PHYS1005 web page!)
- i.e. no continuous assessment or lab component!

- Details on handout
- N.B. any updates will appear on the web page!

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

Books and other material:

- Universe by Kaufmann & Freedman (5th ed.)
- Comprehensive, beautifully produced, reasonable maths level
- Useful for semester 2 course PHYS1008 Physics of Solar System
- Used in previous years possible second-hand copies from 2nd yrs!

- Introductory Astronomy & Astrophysics by Zeilik, Gregory & Smith (4th ed.)
- Slightly more advanced (assumes a higher level of maths)
- Useful in later courses (for astronomers/space scientists)

- WWW (http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk)
- Everyone should look at course web pages!
- Repository for all lecture material
- And links to much else besides!
- N.B. these are NOT a replacement for text books!

- Astronomy magazines (Hartley Library):
- Sky & Telescope
- Astronomy Now
- Frequent astro articles in New Scientist, Scientific American

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

Background to course:

- Core course for Physics with Astronomy and Physics with Space Science
- N.B. no previous knowledge of astronomy is assumed!
- A-level Physics is required and is assumed
- A-level Maths is preferred but not essential (students with AS-level Maths only did fine last year)
- 4 sets of Problem Sheets to work through
- But these do not count in your assessment

- Expect ~3hrs/week independent study (reading, reviewing lecture material, doing problems) per course

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

Overview of topics covered in course:

- Gain feel for astronomical scales: distances, times, masses:
- e.g. travelling in a regular passenger jet, roughly how long would it take to reach the Sun?
- 2 months
- 2 years
- 20 years
- 200 years

- Answer: 20 years!
- Travelling in the same jet, how long would it take to reach the nearest star to the Sun? (What’s its name?)
- 5,000 years
- 50,000 years
- 500,000 years
- 5,000,000 years

- Answer: 5 million years! (α Cen)

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

- How old is the Earth?
- 6,500 yrs
- 65 million yrs
- 800 million yrs
- 4.5 billion yrs

- Answer: 4.5 billion yrs - significance of a) and b)?
- a) is “biblical” age, b) is last major impact event
- N.B. the Sun is the same age as the Earth, but how much longer will it last?
- How old is the Universe?
- 4.5 billion yrs
- 8 billion yrs
- 13.5 billion yrs

- Answer: 13.5 billion yrs – from where?
- MAP satellite to survey cosmic microwave background (2003!)

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

Examples of what course contains (and what it does not contain!):

Sun and

Planets are

in PHYS1008!

e.g. Mars:

Beagle 2 on

Mars Express

(launched in June)

Due to land in Isidis

Planitis Basin

http://www.beagle2.com

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

- and Solar Corona:
- coronal mass ejections (CME) seen by SOHO
- http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/eit/cme/

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

Stars, Galaxies & Cosmology:

Planetary

Nebulae

(dying stars)

(see HST web

site or APOD)

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

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