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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 :

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phys1005 introduction to astronomy space science
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
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
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
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

slide5

Timescales:

  • 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
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

slide7
and Solar Corona:
    • coronal mass ejections (CME) seen by SOHO
    • http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/eit/cme/

PHYS1005 – 2003/4

stars galaxies cosmology
Stars, Galaxies & Cosmology:

Planetary

Nebulae

(dying stars)

(see HST web

site or APOD)

PHYS1005 – 2003/4