The Evolving Syllabus:



1. Astronomy as a science

    Quick early history. Relation to physics. Types of observations. Limitations of our observations.


2. Starting the exploration

    Units, distances, and parallaxes. Overview of structures and scales. Newtonian gravity, Kepler's laws. Celestial coordinates, time.


3. Telescopes and detectors

    History of telescopes. Geometric optics. Detectors (UV, vis, IR). Radio telescopes. X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes and detectors. Non-EM messengers.


4. Electromagnetic radiation processes

    Blackbody radiation. Spectra, Kirchoff's laws, atomic transitions. Non-thermal mechanisms. Magnitudes and fluxes.


5. Interstellar medium, the birth of stars and planets

    ISM phenomenology and properties. Star formation. Planetary system formation.


6. Solar system

    Solar system overview. A quick description of the major components. Formation of the Solar system. Planetary atmospheres.


7. Planets beyond the Solar system

    Thermodynamics of planets. Exosolar planetary systems. Life in the universe.


8. Stellar structure, Sun

    Basic considerations. Energy generation. Energy transport. Our Sun.


9. Stellar evolution, star clusters

    HR diagrams, main sequence. Star clusters. Evolution past the main sequence.


10. Endpoints of stellar evolution

    White dwarfs. Contact binaries. Supernovae. Supernova remnants.


11. Extreme objects: neutron stars and black holes

    Neutron stars and pulsars. Stellar black holes. Gamma-Ray Bursts. Supermassive black holes galactic nuclei.


12. Galaxy

    Overall structure, major components, stellar populations. Kinematics, rotation, dark halo. Spiral structure, stellar dynamics. Local group, evidence of hierarchical assembly.


13. Galaxies and their properties

    Hubble sequence, variation of properties. Structural and dynamical properties. Correlations.


14. Galaxy formation and evolution

    Formative and evolutionary processes. Protogalaxies. Evolution. Observations. History of galaxy assembly and star formation.


15. Large scale structure, its formation and evolution

    Gal. clustering. Surveys. Large scale structure. Origins and evolution. Clusters of galaxies.


16. Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)

    Definitions, structure, unification. SMBHs and fueling. Jets and high-energy phenomena. Evolution. Formation and co-evolution with galaxies.


17. Cosmology: basics, expansion

    The universal expansion. Cosmological redshift. Cosmological models and parameters. Distances in cosmology.


18. The early universe, cosmic microwave background

    Some basic ideas about the physics of the early universe. The Cosmic Microwave Background. The Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The cosmic inflation. The very early universe.


19. Distance scale and age, cosmological tests

    The distance ladder. Stellar distance indicators and Cepheids. The HST Hubble Constant Key Project. Distance Indicator relations. The age of the universe. Cosmological tests. Tests for the expansion of the universe. Supernova standard candles and the Hubble diagram. CMB cosmology and the angular diameter test.


20. Dark matter and dark energy, concordance cosmology