General Astronomy 1 - BGU Physics Department
BGU Physics Department

General Astronomy 1

(3.5 points, 4 hours)
course number 203-1-3461



Review of astronomical objects and their observational signature: the sun, stars, HR diagram, star clusters, HII regions, binaries, black holes, white dwarfs, neutron stars and pulsars, variable stars. Planets. Galaxies and their evolution. Clusters of galaxies. Transient sources such as supernovae, gamma ray bursts, fast radio bursts, gravitational waves. Observational astronomy. Emission and absorption of light from/in celestial objects, telescopes of various kinds, observatories, and types of observations in different wavelengths (gamma, X-ray, UV, optical, near-/infrared, sub-/mm and radio), history of observational astronomy, modern day astronomy. Scales and astronomical units, parallax, coordinate systems, magnitude systems, luminosity (inc. absolute, bolometric) and brightness, flux, redshift, K-correction. Techniques for obtaining, reducing and analyzing astronomical data. Review of observational cosmology: redshift, distances, cosmological parameters, the distance ladder and measuring the expansion of the universe, the cosmic microwave background, acoustic peaks, the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, the Sachs-Wolfe effect, dark energy, gravitational lensing. Computational methods for astronomy. Simulations. Statistical tools and dealing with statistical samples. Data science, big data, and machine learning in astronomy


  1. Observational Cosmology, Stephen Serjeant
  2. Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology - An Introduction 2nd edition,Peter Schneider
  3. Astrophysics in a Nutshell, Dan Maoz
  4. The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, Frank Shu


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