Stellar Astrophysics - 2016

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3
  • Availability for 2017: SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment - Newsgroups (30%) , Essay (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,300.00
Domestic continuing 1,966.00
International 2,550.00
International continuing 2,216.00

2016 Swinburne tuition fees are reduced for continuing postgraduate students.
Please login in to view the applicable amount.

Following on from AST80004, this unit aims to cover the physical processes underlying stellar properties and the principles behind models of stellar evolution.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the classification schemes of stars, their physical parameters and the importance of the HR diagram
  2. understand the properties and processes of stellar interiors and stellar atmospheres
  3. understand the mechanism of star formation and the evolution of stars from the main sequence through to the RGB and AGB phase
  4. have a working knowledge of the processes and properties of high mass stellar remnants, including supernovae, planetary nebulae, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes
  5. solve mathematical problems related to the physical processes that underlie stellar properties and evolution
  6. discuss these stellar astrophysical concepts in a non-technical manner understandable to the general public
  7. research an astronomy topic in depth, using dependable sources of astronomical information on the internet and refereed journal articles.
  • Assignment — Newsgroups (30%)
  • Essay (20%)
  • Project (30%)
  • Test — Online tests (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HET611 — Stellar Astrophysics

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

You should complete introductory tertiary-level mathematics and physics before commencing in this unit.

  • Broadband access

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Classifying stars
2Stellar energy: gravitational contraction versus fusion, stellar nucleosynthesis, reaction rates, PP chain, CNO cycle, triple alpha process
3Hydrostatic equilibrium and radiation pressure
5Main sequence stars: low mass and high mass stars, energy generation, PP chain versus CNO cycle; end of hydrogen core burning and lifetime on the MS
6Evolution off the main sequence
7Supernovae: type Ia and type II supernovae, light curves, explosive nucleosynthesis, supernovae remnants
8Neutron stars
9Stellar mass black holes
10Pulsating stars
11Binary stars
12Stellar clusters

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Introduction Modern Astrophysics Pearson New

    By:Carroll & Ostlie

    ISBN: 9781292022932


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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