• Offered by Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Michael Ireland
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Enrolment in this course is capped at 44 students

The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge of the most essential physical processes in astrophysics, and the way in which we can make key inferences about these processes by astronomical observations. Students will develop an understanding of the thermodynamical, nuclear and radiative processes that govern the evolution of stars, and how stellar masses, distances, luminosities, temperature and radii are inferred from observations. They will learn about the key components of galaxies – dark matter, stars and gas, and how their masses and other properties are measured. Students will also gain practical experience with astronomical observations with a field trip to the Siding Spring Observatory.

This course can be taken as an HPO, please discuss with course convener.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course students will have the skills and knowledge to:
  1. Use mathematical, computational, and experimental skills in the context of planning, executing, and interpreting telescopic observations;
  2. Analyse and describe the properties and behaviour of a wide range of astronomical objects using physical principles;
  3. Work effectively as part of a research group;
  4. Communicate research findings.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • 6 problem sets (40%) (LO1-3)
  • Final exam (30%) (LO1-2)
  • Written report based on observations made during the field trip (20%) (LO3-4)
  • Participation and performance during the field trip (10%) (LO1)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A four-day / three-night field trip to Siding Spring Observatory during the mid-semester teaching break. During the term, 2 hours of lecture and 2 hours of tutorial per week; approximately 4 hours of problem sets per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed PHYS1201 and MATH2305.

Prescribed Texts

Astrophysics in a Nutshell, by D. Maoz

Assumed Knowledge

Recommended: PHYS2013, PHYS2020


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9603 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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