Astronomy units for non-astronomers
Not everyone who takes Astronomy units at Curtin do so as part of a Science degree. Many students who study disciplines other than Science enrol in Astronomy units. Whether you have an interest in Astronomy, or would just like to know more about our Solar System or the Universe in which we live, Curtin Applied Physics provides units for you. These units do not require high level mathematical skills or a deep knowledge of physics, and there are no pre-requisites apart from a desire to learn.
Size and structure of the universe. History of astronomy and celestial coordinates. Tools of the astronomer – telescopes and associated instruments. Stellar evolution. Birth and death of stars. Red giants, white dwarfs, supernovae, black holes. Cosmology, Big Bang, cosmic microwave background, future of the universe. Life in the universe.
The formation of the solar system. The exploration of the solar system. Mercury – Mariner. Venus – Mariner and Magellan. Mars – Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. Jupiter – Voyager and Galileo. Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – Voyager. The minor bodies – asteroids, comets, meteors and meteorites. Astrophotography and the use of telescopes. Gravity.
The solar system, its structure and formation. Formation of the earth. Internal structure, chemical composition. Geomagnetic field, its source and character. Palaeomagnetism. Plate tectonics. Gravity and the shape of the earth. Seismology. The oceans, their origin and circulation. Formation of the atmosphere, energy balance and the anthropogenic effects. Ozone levels, atmospheric ionisation and effects on communication.