• Class Number 3492
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Helmut Jerjen
    • Dr Tony Travouillon
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an introduction to stellar structure, evolution, and atmospheres. It covers the basic physical processes that govern the behaviour of stars, including hydrostatic equilibrium, thermal balance, nuclear energy generation, and radiation transport, the application of these principles to modeling the life cycle of stars from birth to the main sequence to death, and the development of tools to deduce stars' physical properties from the light they emit.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

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. Explain the concepts of hydrostatic balance, equations of state for stellar matter, transfer of heat through stars, stellar nucleosynthesis, and radiation transport, and perform calculations using these concepts;
  2. Calculate the internal structures of stars at a variety of levels of approximation;
  3. Describe the life cycles of stars from birth to death, and how these cycles depend on stellar mass;
  4. Explain the basic theory of stellar spectra, and use this theory to interpret the observed spectra of stars;
  5. Work effectively as part of a group;
  6. Read, interpret, and critically analyse professional research literature in the areas of stars;
  7. Identify unsolved problems in stars, and propose research approaches that could be used to address them.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Verbal feedback on assessments during class tutorials
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Nature of light, blackbody radiation, quantisation of energy, magnitude scale, parallax, color index and spectra
2 Bohr's model of the atom, spectral lines, Newtonian mechanics and Kepler's laws, observational properties of stars (masses, virial theorem) problem set #1 (task 1)
3 Interstellar extinction, binaries
4 Mass-Luminosity relation, H-R diagram, spectral classification, observational constraints: angular resolution (astrometric parralax vs spectral parralax), nuclear processes: The Bohr model, nuclear reaction rates problem set #2 (task 2)
5 Hydrogen burning, p-p chain and CNO cycle, heavy element burning (s and r processes, stellar interior: hydrostatic equilibrium, pressure equations of state
6 Stellar interior: energy transport and thermodynamics, stellar atmospheres: radiation transfer, opacity, stellar models: Polytropic model problem set #3 (task 3)
7 Stellar models: Chandrasekhar mass, Eddington lminosity, standar and point source model
8 Building stellar model numerically, star formation: interstellar dust and gas, formation of protostarts, brown dwarfs, planets, star evolution: pre-main sequence evolution. Hayashi zone problem set #4 (task 4)
9 Star evolution: main sequence, Chandrasekahr limit, Late stage evolution: Red giants, stellar clusters, low mass stars: planetary nebula and white dwarfs
10 Massive stars: post main sequence, supernovae, degenerate remnants: the physics, white dwarfs and cooling, degenerate remnants Neutrons stars and pulsars. problem set #5 (task 5)
11 Stellar pulsation: Observation and physics, stellar pulsation: models and helioseismology, theory of general relativity
12 Black holes problem set #6 (task 6)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Problem Set #1 5 % 10/03/2019 20/03/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Problem Set #2 10 % 24/03/2019 03/04/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Problem Set #3 10 % 07/04/2019 17/04/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Problem Set #4 5 % 05/05/2019 10/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Problem Set #5 10 % 19/05/2019 29/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Problem Set #6 10 % 02/06/2019 12/06/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Final written exam (task #7) 25 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4
Oral presentation (task #8) 10 % 02/06/2019 02/06/2019 6,7
Essay (task #9) 15 % 02/06/2019 12/06/2019 6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 10/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Problem Set #1

A take-home problem set with questions related to the topics covered in the lectures.

Value: 5%. Students have 10 days to submit their solutions as pdf file per email to the lecturer.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 03/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Problem Set #2

A take-home problem set with questions related to the topics covered in the lectures.

Value: 10%. Students have 10 days to submit their solutions as pdf file per email to the lecturer.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 07/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 17/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Problem Set #3

A take-home problem set with questions related to the topics covered in the lectures.

Value: 10%. Students have 10 days to submit their solutions as pdf file per email to the lecturer.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 05/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Problem Set #4

A take-home problem set with questions related to the topics covered in the lectures.

Value: 5%. Students have 10 days to submit their solutions as pdf file per email to the lecturer.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 19/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Problem Set #5

A take-home problem set with questions related to the topics covered in the lectures.

Value: 10%. Students have 10 days to submit their solutions as pdf file per email to the lecturer.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 02/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Problem Set #6

A take-home problem set with questions related to the topics covered in the lectures.

Value: 10%. Students have 10 days to submit their solutions as pdf file per email to the lecturer.

Assessment Task 7

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final written exam (task #7)

Final written exam with questions related to all topics covered in the course.

Value: 25%. Students wil be assessed on their knowledge and problem-solving skills they acquired of the course material throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 8

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 02/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 02/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 6,7

Oral presentation (task #8)

Oral presentation on a topic of the course selected by the student.

Value 10%. Duration: 20 minutes, followed by Q&A for 10 min.

Assessment Task 9

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 02/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 6,7

Essay (task #9)

Essay on the topic that was selected by the student in the oral presentation (task #9).

Value 15%.

Word limit: 5000 words

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks #8 and #9 after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks (problem sets #1 to #6) without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned to the students for written feedback and mark checking at the beginning of the tutorial. The assignments have to be handed back to the tutor or lecturer after the tutorial.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Assignments cannot be resubmitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Helmut Jerjen
6125 8038

Research Interests

near-field cosmology, dwarf galaxies, stellar populations

Prof Helmut Jerjen

Monday 14:00 17:00
Tuesday 14:00 17:00
Dr Tony Travouillon
6125 0285

Research Interests

Dr Tony Travouillon

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions