Subject details

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  1. Identify the “big questions” in galactic and extragalactic astronomy, and recognise the current state of our knowledge on these questions
  2. Explain and summarise the concepts of galaxy formation and evolution
  3. Distinguish the way galaxies are classified and differentiate the approaches used to discover their properties
  4. Appraise and state the basic principles and concepts about our and other galaxies, their properties and their constituents in a non-technical way understandable to the wider public
  5. Use problem solving skills to explain and synthesise solutions to problems in galactic and extragalactic  astronomy
  6. Design and create an essay on an astronomy topic, assessing and critiquing current knowledge, using credible sources of astronomical information and research articles
    • The Milky Way: structure, rotation curves and dark matter, spiral arms & density wave theory, galactic centre, modelling the origin of the Milky Way
    • The structure and classification of normal galaxies: spiral, elliptical & irregular galaxies, Hubble's classification
    • Estimating galactic distances: standard candles, sizes and masses, redshifts & Hubble's Law
    • Galactic structures: the Local Group, dwarf galaxies, dark matter in clusters, superclusters & voids
    • Star formation: measuring rates and evolution, techniques and relationships
    • Quasars and active galaxies: host galaxies, radio and Seyfert galaxies, unified active galactic nuclei model, black holes, gravitational lensing
    • Interacting galaxies, galactic cannibalism & mergers, starburst galaxies, modelling galaxy interactions
    • Galaxy formation and evolution, fluctuations and galaxy seeds, Jeans mass, N-body simulations, Cold Dark Matter
    • The first stars & galaxies: the dark ages, Population III stars, galaxies & quasars at high redshift, the evolution of clusters, faint blue galaxies
    • Quasar absorbers, evolution of gas in the Universe, the intergalactic medium
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

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

Equivalent subjects

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

  • SWI-HET624

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject aims to provide an introduction to galaxies and galaxy clustering, theories of dark matter, galaxy formation and evolution.

  • Essay (50%)
  • Newsgroups (30%)
  • Test (20%)

Textbook information is pending.

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