• 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 Michael Ireland
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course is offered in Semester 2 every even year (eg 2024, 2026)

This course provides a survey of physical processes occuring in astrophysical environments, including astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, dynamics of relativistic particles, and mechanisms of radiation production. Topics in fluid dynamics include Eulerian and Lagrangian formulations of fluid mechanics, flow characteristics and shock formation in both magnetised and non-magnetised flows, and mechanisms of non-ideal magnetohydrodynamics. The relativistic particles portion of the course includes particle acceleration, transport, and interaction with magnetic fields. The radiation portion of the course includes radiation by relativistic particles and hadronic and leptonic radiation mechanisms.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse the behavior of magnetised astronomical flows and astrophysical relativistic particles, and the radiation produced by such systems.
  2. Evaluate and create models for the behaviour of astrophysical fluid and radiation systems.
  3. Clearly communicate the results of physical analysis of astrophysical flows and radiation.
  4. Work effectively as part of a group to solve problems in topics relevant to the course.

Other Information

Students enrolled in the honours program who have not completed the prerequisite (ASTR3013) will be offered the opportunity to take ASTR6013 prior to or in lieu of this course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 4 problem sets (40) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Individual final exam (40) [LO 1,2]
  3. Individual oral and/or written presentation (20) [LO 3]

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 session including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 4 hours of lectorials per week.
  • Approximately 82 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, tutorials, and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

No specific inherent requirements identified for this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you need to be undertaking the ASTR-HSPC Honours specialisation. Prerequisites: ASTR3013 or ASTR6013. Incompatible: ASTR4003, ASTR8003, ASTR4012, ASTR8002 and ASTR8021

You will need to contact the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

The Physics of Astrophysics, Vol. 1 Radiation and Vol. 2 Gas Dynamics by Frank H Shu, University Science Books.


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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8595 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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