Students

ASTR3010 – Astrophysics of Radiation and Stars

2022 – Session 1, In person-scheduled-weekday, North Ryde

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Orsola De Marco
Richard de Grijs
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
(ASTR278 or ASTR2020) and (PHYS202 or PHYS2020)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

The first part of this unit covers the physical mechanisms responsible for the generation, absorption and scattering of light in environments as diverse as rarefied nebulae, hot compact stellar atmospheres and distant galaxies. During the second part of the unit the theory of stellar structure and evolution is developed. Students become familiar with spectroscopic observations and the python programming language, and carry out a project using computer models of how stars live and die.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: discuss principles and difficulties of observational methods that allow us to interpret the physical characteristics of an astronomical object based on the light we receive from it.
  • ULO2: demonstrate knowledge of the way radiation interacts with matter in different astrophysical environments through solving radiative transfer problems.
  • ULO3: describe the internal structure of our Sun and stars other than the Sun, and explain the key observational properties of different types of stars.
  • ULO4: apply the equations of stellar structure and the simplifications that lead to polytropic stellar models.
  • ULO5: explain the processes and physics involved in stellar evolution, including the processes that bring about stellar death.
  • ULO6: apply computational techniques to model physical phenomena in different astrophysical environments using the Unix environment and elements of the python computing language.
  • ULO7: design, conduct, analyse and report on observational experiments related to measuring the radiation from stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects in order to determine their properties.

General Assessment Information

Project: a computational project based on calculating and analysing the structure and evolution of a given star. It is almost entirely carried out in the computer lab sessions in the second part of the semester. The Project report will be due one week after the last PC Lab class.

Assignments: there will be 4 assignments, 2 per each part of the unit. They will be approximately evenly scattered.

Observational task: Students will observe a number of targets using MQ Observatory. They will also analyse their observational data (in case of bad weather, data will be provided). A small component of this observational task will be conducted in the laboratory. The students will have to carry out some tasks related to constructing an astronomical spectrograph. A report of this activity will be due after the semester break.

A standard, 3-hour, written exam (plus 10 min reading time) will be given in the university examination period.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Project 20% Yes 07/05/22
Observational Analysis Task 20% No Mon W8
Assignments 20% No Ass 1 Thu W4; Ass 2 Thu W7; Ass 3 Thu W10. Ass 4 Thu W13.
Final examination 40% Yes MQ Examination timetable.

Project

Assessment Type 1: Project
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: 07/05/22
Weighting: 20%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

 

Project involving computer programming, astrophysical interpretation, report and presentation

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • apply computational techniques to model physical phenomena in different astrophysical environments using the Unix environment and elements of the python computing language.

Observational Analysis Task

Assessment Type 1: Lab report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 0 hours
Due: Mon W8
Weighting: 20%

 

A report on the outcomes of collection and analysis of observational data.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • apply computational techniques to model physical phenomena in different astrophysical environments using the Unix environment and elements of the python computing language.
  • design, conduct, analyse and report on observational experiments related to measuring the radiation from stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects in order to determine their properties.

Assignments

Assessment Type 1: Problem set
Indicative Time on Task 2: 18 hours
Due: Ass 1 Thu W4; Ass 2 Thu W7; Ass 3 Thu W10. Ass 4 Thu W13.
Weighting: 20%

 

A series of assignments throughout the session

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • discuss principles and difficulties of observational methods that allow us to interpret the physical characteristics of an astronomical object based on the light we receive from it.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the way radiation interacts with matter in different astrophysical environments through solving radiative transfer problems.
  • describe the internal structure of our Sun and stars other than the Sun, and explain the key observational properties of different types of stars.
  • apply the equations of stellar structure and the simplifications that lead to polytropic stellar models.
  • explain the processes and physics involved in stellar evolution, including the processes that bring about stellar death.

Final examination

Assessment Type 1: Examination
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: MQ Examination timetable.
Weighting: 40%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

 

Examination during the exam period covering all content from the unit.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • discuss principles and difficulties of observational methods that allow us to interpret the physical characteristics of an astronomical object based on the light we receive from it.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the way radiation interacts with matter in different astrophysical environments through solving radiative transfer problems.
  • describe the internal structure of our Sun and stars other than the Sun, and explain the key observational properties of different types of stars.
  • apply the equations of stellar structure and the simplifications that lead to polytropic stellar models.
  • explain the processes and physics involved in stellar evolution, including the processes that bring about stellar death.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Two hours per week lectures will be live/in-person and recodred on Echo360. 

One hour per week SGTA will be class based problems done in groups and alone.

Week 1-6: a series of observing sessions, computer lab sessions and laboratory sessions.

Week 7-13: 3 hours per week computer lab. Some in between labs preparation needed.

 

Unit Schedule

Please refer to the University timetable.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Academic Integrity

At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre provides resources to develop your English language proficiency, academic writing, and communication skills.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Macquarie University offers a range of Student Support Services including:

Student Enquiries

Got a question? Ask us via AskMQ, or contact Service Connect.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes from Previous Offering

Richard deGrijs replaces Ricahrd McDermid. 

The materinal is mostly the same but this year we have added a laboratory component (building a spectrograph) to the observing project conducted in the first half of the unit.