Salta ai contenuti. | Salta alla navigazione

Strumenti personali


Academic year and teacher
If you can't find the course description that you're looking for in the above list, please see the following instructions >>
Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of this course is provide the students with a basic knowledge of modern astrophysics. Specifically, a knowledge of modern observational techniques and methodologies to measure fluxes, distances, masses relevant for astrophysical sources; an understanding of energy production mechanisms in the universe and the close links between fundamental physics and astrophysics. With this basic knowledge, the student should be able to solve simple problems in stellar and extra-galactic astrophysics and should be able understand non specialistic literature in astrophysics.


Basic knowledge of mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, relativity and quantun mechanics. Solid knowledge of calculus and basics of Fourier analysis.

Course programme

The course includes 54 hrs of lecturing, with possibile remote observations at the Loiano Observatory.

IIntroduction to modern astronomy. Quick reference to previous
Astronomy courses: photometric measurements, distance scales,
multi-wavelength observations. Role of astrophysics in fundamental
physics, synergies between subatomic and cosmology .

Formation of gravitationally bound objects: Jeans criterium, star
formation. Equations of stellar structure: hydrostatic equilibrium,
nuclear reactions, Eddington limit. Matter in degenerate conditions,
equation of state (classic and relativistc case), Chandrasekhar
limit. Final stages of stellar evolution (white dwarfs, neutron stars
and black holes).

From stellar to galactic systems: galaxy populations, Hubble sequence,
morphology-color--starformation connection. Luminosity
function. Scaling relations (Tully-Fisher and Faber-Jackson).

From galactic to galaxy clusters (and larger scales): basic
properties, how to measure cluster masses (baryonic and dark matter

Fundamentals of Cosmology: redshift, Hubble law. Distance scale ladder.

Didactic methods

Theoretical lectures with problem solving, with the help of slides. Visits at the Loiano Observatory (weather conditions permitting) to carry out observations and reduce astronomical data on a subject previously introduced during the course.

Learning assessment procedures

Scope of the exam is to grade the breadth and depth of knowledge of the student on the topics covered during the course. The oral exam consists of two or three questions on fundamental issues covered during the course, in addition to a detailed report on a special topic of the program, which can be chosen by the student. The latter allows the lecturer to test the ability of the students in collecting the relevant literature, and grade his/her organization and communication skills.

Reference texts

On-line material on dedicated webpage (slides, references)

Selected chapters from:
H. Bradt: Astronomy Methods
M. Longair: High-energy Astrophysics
M. Longair: Galaxy Formation (1998 or 2008 edition)
H. Bradt: Astrophysics Processes