Extragalactic Astronomy


This class will focus on the study of the creation and evolution of the universe at large, including the basic macroscopic building blocks (galaxies) and the overall large-scale structure.

The first few weeks we will review relevant background material needed to understand subsequent material. Topics covered will be coordinate systems, radiation mechanisms, and summaries of stellar structure and stellar evolution.

I have chosen the book Galaxies by John Taylor as a general reference, but I will distribute xeroxes from a number of other sources when necessary.

Your grade will be determined by your performance on two tests (20% each), a final (30%), homework assignments (20%), and an observing proposal (10%). The tests will consist of problems, essay questions and derivations. Each test will cover material since the last test, except for the final which will have at least one question designed to test your grasp of the subject as a whole.

The observing proposal will probably be different from any other project you have done. It will consist of identifying a problem (for instance galaxy clustering), forming a hypothesis, determinimg what type of observation needs to be made to test the hypothesis, and writing a convincing proposal for some instrument (the 4-meter at Kitt Peak, the 0.9 SARA telescope, IUE etc.).

The rough course outline, subject to modifications, is as follows: