2017 Planetary Astronomy

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Sato Bunei  Nomura Hideko 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon7-8(I2-318)  Thr7-8(I2-318)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Planets in the solar-system are considered to be formed in protosolar nebular around protosun. Recent optical and radio observations have revealed existence of proto-planertary disks and planets around other stars. How did our solar-system and these extra-solar planetary systems form and evolve? This course will first provide basic knowledge about observational astronomy. Next, basics of optical, infrared and radio astronomy will be introduced, together with those of stars, planets, mocluar clouds, and proto-planetary disks. Lastly theories of planetary formation, evolution, interior, and atmosphere will be overviewed.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand the basics of optical, infrared, and ratio astronomy, and planet formation theory
2) Apply these knowledge to interpret properties of the solar-system and extrasolar planetary systems


optical and infrared astronomy, radio astronomy, planet formation theory, solar system, extrasolar planets, proto-planetary disk

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

At the beginning of the class, a summary of the previous lecture is given. Then the main points of the day's lecuture are given, and students are asked to provide solutions to some of the questiones as necessary.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Basics of astronomy: basic knowledge Understand the definition of coorinates, distance, brightness and color of celstial objects.
Class 2 Basics of astronomy: two-body problem Understand orbital motion of a star and a planet.
Class 3 Basics of astronomy: radiation and spectrum Understand black body radiation, and formation of emission and absorption lines.
Class 4 Introduction to optical and infrared astronomy: various types of stars Understand HR diagram and stellar evolution.
Class 5 Introduction to optical and infrared astronomy: stellar interior and atmosphere Understand internal structure and stellar atmosphere.
Class 6 Introduction to optical and infrared astronomy: telescope and instrument Understand photometric and spectroscopic observations.
Class 7 Introduction to optical and infrared astronomy: extrasolar planet Understand observational methods and properties of extrasolar planets.
Class 8 Introduction to radio astronomy: basic knowledge thermal emission of radio wavelengths and interstellar medium
Class 9 Introduction to radio astronomy: radio telescope single dish, interferometer (array), and antenna temperature
Class 10 Introduction to radio astronomy: molecular clouds and star formation molecular cloud, dense core, protostar, and self-gravity
Class 11 Introduction to radio astronomy: observations of proto-planetary disk T Tauri star, circumstellar disk, and primordial solar nebula
Class 12 Introduction to planet formation theory: basic knowledge planetesimals, core accretion
Class 13 Introduction to planet formation theory: physical process in proto-planetary disk disk turbulence, gravitational instability
Class 14 Introduction to planet formation theory: chemical process in proto-planetary disk disk ionization and photoevaporation
Class 15 Introduction to planet formation theory: planet and planetary system dust coagulation and fragmentation



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Reference books and course materials are introduced during the course.

Assessment criteria and methods

Student's knowledge of basics of observational astronomy and planet formaiton theory, and the applications will be assessed by exercise problems and reports.

Related courses

  • EPS.A202 : Introduction to Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • LAS.A101 : Earth and Space Sciences A
  • LAS.A102 : Earth and Space Sciences B
  • EPS.B203 : Mechanics (EPS course)
  • EPS.B212 : Electromagnetism (EPS course)
  • EPS.B202 : Thermodynamics (EPS course)
  • LAS.A110 : Earth and Space Sciences, Laboratory and Field Studies (geophysics)
  • LAS.A111 : Earth and Space Sciences, Laboratory and Field Studies (earth materials)
  • LAS.A112 : Earth and Space Sciences, Laboratory and Field Studies (astronomy)

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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