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ASP3012 - Stars and galaxies

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Professor Paul Cally (School of Mathematical Sciences)


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


Stellar photometry; observing the stars; star formation; equation of state; reduced equations of stellar structure; polytropic stellar models; full equations of stellar structure; the main sequence; post-main-sequence evolution. Galactic morphology and stellar content; elliptical and spiral galaxies; large-scale structure of the Milky Way; dark matter; potential theory; galactic dynamics-orbits in spherical and axisymmetric potentials. Field trip. Astronomical data reduction.


On completion of this unit, students will: understand the nature of stars - their life histories, how they produce energy, how they synthesise the chemical elements, their ultimate fates; be able to build simple polytropic numerical stellar models; be able to distinguish and discuss the different galactic types; understand the relationships between stellar evolution, galactic evolution, and the creation of the elements; be able to model computationally the motion of stars in galaxies; understand the implications of the observed nature of galaxies for theories of the universe; be familiar with the morphology and kinematics of the Milky Way; understand the significance of Dark matter to galactic structure; be able to use a large research-level telescope, including for data collection and analysis.


Examination (3 hours): 70%
Assignments: 20%
Field-trip report: 10%

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lecture, one 1-hour support classes per week and one 1-hour computer laboratory in most weeks


MTH2010 and MTH2032 or equivalent


ASP3011, ASP3032, MAT3111 or MAT3132