• 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
    • Prof Paul Francis
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Summer Session 2024
    First Semester 2024
    Winter Session 2024
    Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course is offered in online mode only.

This course is an introduction to astronomy and space. It will introduce you to cutting-edge knowledge about our universe and modern space exploration. No previous knowledge of astronomy, physics or maths is required. The course is purely online and self-paced and can be done from anywhere in the world.

Topics covered are:

  • Indigenous Astronomy and the sky.
  • The Sun, Stars and the Milky Way.
  • Planets in our solar system, asteroids and comets.
  • Spaceflight, space technologies, space law and space medicine.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Appreciate and communicate traditional Indigenous understandings of astronomy.
  2. Apply astronomical research techniques and the scientific method to conceptually solve astronomical puzzles.
  3. Understand and communicate the nature and origins of the Sun, stars and our solar system.
  4. Identify and communicate the ways in which space technology can and will affect the modern and future world.

Other Information

The course is purely online and can be taken from anywhere in the world. Students must be able to use a computer. The course is self-paced: you can watch the video lessons and do the weekly homework at whatever times you choose.

This is one of two first-year courses in astronomy and astrophysics, the other is ASTR1001 Astrophysics. The two courses do not overlap. You can do either course separately, or both, and if you do both you can take them in any order, or both at once. ASTR1001 requires a high-school background-level of knowledge of physics and maths, while this course does not assume any prior knowledge.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Weekly Homework (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Final Online Exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • 40 hours of video lectures (many short 5-10 minute videos, with text as an alternative for those who prefer reading)
  • Approximately 90 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures, homework and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed tests are required: all necessary notes are provided.

Preliminary Reading

Students can optionally use the free online textbook at https://openstax.org/details/books/astronomy

Assumed Knowledge

No prior knowledge is assumed.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1436 01 Jan 2024 29 Jan 2024 02 Feb 2024 18 Feb 2024 Online View

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3544 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 Online View

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6456 24 Jun 2024 28 Jun 2024 12 Jul 2024 21 Jul 2024 Online N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8552 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 Online N/A

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