PHYSICS 1002 - Astronomy I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course aims to present a survey of astronomical science, including highlights of modern exploration and the open questions in astronomy. Topics include the formation and characteristics of the Solar System, including the planets and minor members of the system; Telescopes; the Sun; the birth, life and death of stars; galaxies and dark matter; active galaxies and quasars; Big Bang cosmology. There are no formal prerequisites for the course, though mathematical literacy at year 10 level is assumed.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSICS 1002
    Course Astronomy I
    Coordinating Unit Physics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible PHYSICS 1007
    Course Description This course aims to present a survey of astronomical science, including highlights of modern exploration and the open questions in astronomy. Topics include the formation and characteristics of the Solar System, including the planets and minor members of the system; Telescopes; the Sun; the birth, life and death of stars; galaxies and dark matter; active galaxies and quasars; Big Bang cosmology. There are no formal prerequisites for the course, though mathematical literacy at year 10 level is assumed.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Andrew MacKinnon

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student should be able to:
    1 Describe the features of objects in the Solar System (i.e. Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, planetary interiors, atmospheres, etc.) giving details of similarities and differences between these objects;
    2 detail the presently accepted formation theories of the solar system based upon observational and physical constraints;
    3 detail changes which are observed when viewing the sky daily, weekly, monthly, annually and longer period of time and demonstrate an understanding of the reasons behind any observed changes;
    4 demonstrate an understanding of the basic properties of the Sun and other stars;
    5 explain stellar evolution, including red giants, supernovas, neutron stars, pulsars, white dwarfs and black holes, using evidence and presently accepted theories;
    6 detail the main features and formation theories of the various types of observed galaxies, in particular the Milky Way;
    7 explain the evolution of the expanding Universe using concepts of the Big Bang and observational evidence;
    8 use information learned in class and develop observation skills to be able to explain astronomical features and observations obtained via telescopic observations or data provided through computer simulations.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1-8

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    M.A. Seeds, Horizons: Exploring the Universe, 13th edition (or earlier) (Thomson)

    or

    J.D. Fix, Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier, 6th edition (or earlier) (McGraw Hill)

    or

    N. Commins & W.J. Kaufmann, Discovering the Universe, 8th edition (or earlier) (Freeman)

    or

    any other "freshman" level Astronomy text. Multiple copies of the textbooks and similar books are available in the Barr Smith Library, some in the Reserve Collection (3 hour loan).

    Recommended Resources

    Multiple copies of the textbooks and similar books are available in the Barr Smith Library, some in the Reserve Collection (3 hour loan).

    Online Learning

    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/).

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.

    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.