Physics and astronomy

Extragalactic Astronomy

Module code: F3209
Level 6
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module covers:

  • Overview of observational cosmology – content of the Universe, incl. current evidence for Dark Matter and Dark Energy; evolution and eventual fate of the Universe; cosmic microwave background radiation; nucleosynthesis
  • Galaxy formation – linear perturbation theory; growth and collapse of spherical perturbations; hierarchical galaxy formation models
  • Galaxy structure and global properties – morphology; stellar populations; spectral energy distributions; galaxy scaling laws
  • Global properties of the interstellar medium
  • Statistical properties of the galaxy population – luminosity function; mass function; star-formation history of the Universe
  • How to detect astrophysical processes in distant galaxies using modern telescopes
  • Black holes and active galactic nuclei
  • Galaxy clusters and the intracluster medium; galaxy groups

Module learning outcomes

  • Gain basic understanding the structure and properties of galaxies, galaxy groups and clusters.
  • Gain a basic understanding of the process of galaxy formation and their subsequent evolution and interactions with the intergalactic medium.
  • Gain a basic understanding of which telescopes and instruments are used to observe different astrophysical processes in distant galaxies.
  • Write a clear, technically accurate, and convincing proposal aimed at securing observing time on a telescope.