Relying on the notions introduced in the course Astronomy I, this course has the objective of providing the students with an overview of galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, as well as of the main observationa techniques used across the electromagnetic spectrum for ground and space observations. An introduction is provided to the physical properties of the interstellar medium, the dynamics of stellar clusters and of the Milky Way, the properties of external galaxies, active galaxies and galaxy clusters, as well as of the basics of big bang cosmology. At the end the course comes back to the smaller scale of our Solar System, and provides an updated discussion of extrasolar planets and their implications for astrobiology.
Expected learning outcomes
Students at the end of the course are expected to reach the following capabilities: 1. to be able to discuss the main characteristics of the instrumentation adopted for astrophysical measurements across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to gamma rays 2. to gain familiarity with different types of stellar clusters, their dynamic, the information that can be extracted from an HR diagram 3. to be able to use the notions of interstellar extintion in distance measurements, as well as to discuss the fundamental properties of the gas and dust components of the interstellar medium 4. to be able to discuss the structure of our own Galaxy, its diferential rotation, the evidence for a supermassive black hole at its centre, the evidence of dark matter in the Galactic halo 5. to be able to classity galaxy, discuss star formation, as well as the presence of dark matter form rotation curves, the nature and properties of active agalactic nuclei 6. to be ale to discuss the physics of galaxy clusters, the evidence of intracluster hot gas from X-ray observations 7. to acquire an initial vision of cosmology in the expanding universe, including the basics of large scale distribution of matter and of cosmic microwave background observations 8. to be able to discuss the main properties of our Solar System, including the Earth-Moon system, terrestrial and giant planets, icy objects 9. to gain awareness of the current frontiers in the study of extrasolar planets, including the data available on planets mass, density, eccentricity, distance from central star, as well as of the implications for potential life-supporting physical conditions
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)