PHY-10026 - Stars and the Universe
Coordinator: Nicholas J Wright Tel: +44 1782 7 34997
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2019/20

None

Available as a Free Standing Elective

Yes

Co-requisites

None

Prerequisites

None

Barred Combinations

None

Description for 2019/20

This elective module provides a broad overview, accessible to non-scientists, of the nature of the stars, nebulae and galaxies that comprise our Universe, from our earliest thoughts about the nature of the cosmos to the latest results from observatories on the ground and in space. The module starts with an historical review of our changing understanding of our place in the Universe deduced from observations of the night sky. The properties of stars are discussed.
The various types of variable stars are presented and how they can be used to determine the distances to nearby galaxies. The life cycle of stars is discussed, from their formation to their eventual death leaving behind white dwarfs, neutron stars or even enigmatic black holes. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is explored and compared to other types of galaxies elsewhere in the Universe. The module concludes with a discussion of Cosmology and the Big Bang, outlining the whole history of the Universe from the beginning of space and time. The coursework assignments and observational project develop an appreciation for the role of astronomical observations in our understanding of the nature of the Universe.

Aims
To provide a broad overview, accessible to non-scientists, of the natue of the stars, nebulae and galaxies that comprise our Universe, from our earliest thoughts about the nature of the cosmos to the latest results from observatories on the ground and in space.
To develop an appreciation for the role of astronomical observations in our understanding of the nature of the stars, nebulae and galaxies.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.
http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/phy-10026/lists

Intended Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate knowledge of the properties of stars from their formation of eventual death, the structure and content of our Galaxy and others galaxies, and the history and fate of our Universe. Will be achieved by assessments.
Demonstrate an appreciation for the role of astronomical observations in determining the properties of stars, nebulae and galaxies and knowledge of the limitations of observations. Will be achieved by assessments.
Collect and manipulate scientific data. Demonstrate the ability to use mathematical calculations and scientific laws to determine other properies of objects from these observations. Will be achieved by assessments.

Study hours

Lectures: 11 hours
Independent work on computer-based coursework assignments: 18 hours
Independent work on observational project: 20 hours
Directed reading of lecture notes and other online material: 33 hours
Examination: 2 hours
Exam preparation and private study: 66 hours



School Rules

None

Description of Module Assessment

1: Unseen Exam weighted 40%
Two hour unseen examination
Multiple-choice examination of no more than 100 questions.

2: Coursework weighted 40%
Computer-based assignments
Three assessed computer-based coursework assignments.

3: Project weighted 20%
Observational Project
Assessment of quality and honesty of observations, interpretation of results and use of internet research resources.