University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania offers undergraduate astronomy courses at all year levels in Hobart.

KYA181 “Astronomy”, taught in the School of Mathematics and Physics in Hobart and by the School of Applied Science in Launceston, is a one semester unit in first year, (a quarter of a full load for the semester). Designed as an introductory unit with no pre-requisites and no assumption of mathematical ability. The unit covers the foundations of astronomy, the Copernican revolution, radiation, spectroscopy, telescopes, the solar system, Earth, the Moon and Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the outer planets, comets and asteroids, the formation of the solar system, the Sun, measuring the stars, the interstellar medium, star formation, star evolution, stellar explosions, neutron stars and black holes, the Milky Way, normal galaxies, active galaxies and quasars, cosmology, the big bang, and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. The practical classes include day-time visits to the Canopus Optical Observatory and Mt Pleasant Radio-astronomy observatory.

KYA206 “Stellar Astrophysics: the Sun-Earth Interaction” is a one semester unit in second year focusing on energy production in the Sun and the physics of the atmosphere, the interface between space and the Earth. Different sections of the unit concentrate in turn on: radiation transfer in the Earth’s atmosphere at visible and infrared wavelengths, including the processes of transmission, absorption, scattering and emission; remote sensing of the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface through the atmosphere; sources of astrophysical data, the basics of stellar astrophysics and resultant stellar evolution; processes in the middle and upper atmosphere, optical measurements of the atmosphere from the Earth’s surface in Antarctica; cosmic radiation and its interaction with the Earth; aurorae and the Earth’s electric field.

KYA306 “Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics” is a one semester unit in third year focusing the physics of stellar evolution, exotic objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, aspects of galactic structure, active galaxies, quasars, galactic evolution and introductory cosmology. The atmospheric physics component of the course covers the theory and characteristics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric gravity waves, remote sensing techniques in the middle atmosphere, applications to real data of Fourier transforms in one dimension, digitising and windowing.

Honours Level Units are also available in “Advanced Astrophysics”, “Gravitation and Cosmology” and “Auroral Physics”.

See the relevant section of the University Handbook for more information.
For details on the unit offerings contact John Dickey.