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Other Worlds: Planets and Planetary Systems - ASTR178

This unit explores our solar system and the newly found planetary systems around other suns. We begin by examining the processes that have shaped the marvellous variety of worlds within our own solar system, from the scorched and buckled surface of Mercury, to the geysers of frozen methane on Neptune's largest moon, Triton. From this we build an understanding of how our solar system formed and subsequently evolved to become the system that we inhabit today. We then turn our attention to the ongoing discovery of a startling variety of planets around other stars and the advanced observing techniques employed. These provide a new and challenging perspective on our place in the Universe that is modifying the scientific theories of how generic planetary systems are formed. The unit highlights breaking news as the unit proceeds. As part of this unit there is the opportunity to observe the planets with the telescopes of the Macquarie University Observatory.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Professor Mark Wardle
Prerequisites:

 

Corequisites:

NCCW(s): PHYS178
Unit Designation(s):

Science

Unit Type: Planet unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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