Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway


ASP1010 provides an introduction to, and understanding of, the nature of the solar system, our galaxy, and the cosmos beyond. The unit material will emphasize key concepts that will allow students to gain understanding of key astrophysical phenomena. The unit covers a wide range of topics that include the night sky, the historical development of astronomy, the solar system, comets and asteroids, the Sun, other stars, stellar remnants such as black holes, the Milky Way, other galaxies, quasars, dark matter, and cosmology.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
Appreciate the scale of the Universe and Earth's place in it; understand the patterns and motion in the night sky and the cause of seasons; define and use the celestial coordinate system; discuss historical development of astronomy; understand and apply Kepler's laws; discuss the role of gravitation in orbits; describe the main features and performance of telescopes; describe the properties and formation of planets, comets and asteroids; describe the general properties of the known planets beyond our own solar system and how they have been found; measure and describe the properties (magnitude, colour, structure, activity, energy sources) of stars including the Sun; understand and describe the life cycles of stars; describe the formation and evolution of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes; interpret the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram; describe the structure of the Milky Way; describe the formation of different galaxy types; identify multiple methods to measure astronomical distances by; outline the life histories of galaxies (including those in clusters and active galaxies); describe the evidence for dark matter, dark energy and the Big Bang, and suggest the fate of the Universe.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Practical workshops: 25%
Project: 10%
Quizzes: 5%
Mid-semester assignment: 10%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical workshops to achieve an overall pass grade

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and a 2-hour practical workshop/tutorial per week


No formal background in astrophysics is required.
However, secondary science to Year 11 is recommended.