Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


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 will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the scale of the Universe and Earth's place in it;
  2. Describe the evolution and general properties of planets, solar systems, stars, and galaxies;
  3. Apply laws of celestial motion and gravity;
  4. Execute experiments involving telescopes and other simple apparatus and analyse, interpret and evaluate the results arising from them, including being able to describe the main features and performance of telescopes;
  5. Present and communicate results of others and one's own experimentations in a scientific form.


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

Workload requirements

  • Two 2-hour workshops per week
  • Eight hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


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