Courses

The courses offered to graduate students at RSAA are outlined below. Note that it is strongly recommended that students who have not completed the RSAA honours program undertake these courses.

ASTR3007: From stars to galaxies  (6CP)

Offered in: 1st Semester

Syllabus: This course will introduce star formation, structure, evolution, element production and thermonuclear reactions, and pulsating stars. The galaxy component will cover, galaxy formation theory, classification, star formation, galaxy interactions, dark matter, black holes and large-scale structure of the Universe.

ASTR3002: Black holes and cosmology (6CP)

Offered in: 2nd Semester

Syllabus: This course covers the theory of general relativity with applications to black holes and cosmology. Topics include the following. Metrics and Riemannian tensors. The calculus of variations and Lagrangians. Spaces and space-times of general relativity. The Schwarzschild metric and black holes. Photon and particle orbits.  Theoretical cosmology: Universe models.  Dark matter and dark energy.  Observational Cosmology: historical observations, distances, accelerating Universe and the cosmic background radiation.

ASTR8002: Astrophysical gas dynamics (6CP)

Syllabus: Topics in astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, including fluids and kinetic theory, MHD kinetic theory, shocks, winds and relativistic fluids.

ASTR8011: Observational techniques - 3CP

Syllabus: The course covers basic techniques required to obtain and analyse astronomical observations: including photometric systems, measurement errors, optics, telescope and instrument optics and detector systems, spectroscopy and imaging systems.

Diffuse matter in the Universe - 3CP

Planetary science - EMSC6022 (6CP)

Syllabus: This course provides an introduction to planetary geology with a view to understanding what makes planet Earth so special in a galactic context. We will explore the solar system and humans' place in it. We will examine the essential ingredients for life on planets and how the planets come by them. We will step back in time to examine the earliest solar system, going back to the origin of the elements themselves and the processes that have occurred in carrying matter from where it formed to where it can build new solar systems. The conditions on individual planets appears to be the result of many stochastic processes and it can be concluded that our solar system is the end-product of many accidental and chance events, leading to a philosophical discussion of whether planets similar to Earth will be discovered elsewhere in the universe.