Study Programmes 2017-2018
Duration :
35h Th, 15h Pr
Number of credits :
Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)5
Lecturer :
Pierre Magain
Language(s) of instruction :
English language
Organisation and examination :
Teaching in the first semester, review in January
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite :
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Learning unit contents :
Introductory course in astrophysics, covering the main themes, with emphasis on the evolution of ideas from antiquity to the most recent discoveries, but also on the main unsolved enigmas on the origin of the Universe, galaxies, stars and planetary systems, dark matter and dark energy, life in the Universe...
Table of contents: 1. History of astronomy 2. Our solar system: planets, satellites, comets, meteorites... 3. Astronomical observations: telescopes, detectors, photometry, imaging, spectroscopy... 4. Stars: colours, spectra, energy sources, formation, evolution, end of life, supernovae... 5. Exoplanets, life in the Universe, SETI, UFOs... 6. Galaxies: spirals, ellipticals, irregulars, active, quasars, black holes... 7. Cosmology: cosmological models, dark matter, dark energy, Big Bang, alternate models...
Learning outcomes of the learning unit :
The aims of the lecture are: (1) to provide a basic knowledge in modern astrophysics; (2) to give an overview of the marvels and mysteries of the Universe; (3) to introduce the different topics which will be developed in more specialized lectures; (4) to show how scientific theories are constructed and evolve; (5) to develop a critical mind, to be able to judge the validity of a theory, to distinguish genuine science from pseudo-science; (6) to help the student develop its own opinion, by analyzing with a critical mind alternate theories.
Prerequisite knowledge and skills :
Basic knowledge of physics, at the level of bachelor in science.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The student will present a talk of about 20 min, on a subject he can choose, provided it is linked to the contents of the course and the teacher approves it.
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :
Theoretical lectures + student talks, first semester.
Recommended or required readings :
Reference book (in french, not mandatory): Astronomie et Astrophysique M. Séguin and B. Villeneuve De Boeck Université 2d edition (2002)
Assessment methods and criteria :
Oral examination. Two questions on different chapters.
The ~20 minutes oral presentation accounts for 1/3 of the note, the examination for 2/3.
Work placement(s) :
Organizational remarks :
Contacts :
Pierre Magain
Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Bât. B5c, allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liège 1 (Sart Tilman).
Tél.: 04/366.97.53
E-mail :