Astronomy (PHYS1500)


This unit of study provides a broad understanding of the structure, scale and diversity of the universe and an appreciation of the scientific methods used to achieve this understanding. Current areas of investigation, new ideas and concepts which often receive wide media attention will be used to demonstrate how science attempts to understand new and remote phenomena and how our ideas of our place in the universe are changing. The range of topics includes the planets, the solar system and its origin, spacecraft discoveries, stars, supernova, black holes, galaxies, quasars, cosmology and the Big Bang. It also includes day and night sky observing sessions. This unit of study cannot be counted as part of the 12 credit points of Junior Physics necessary for enrolment in Intermediate Physics.

Further unit of study information


Three 1-hour lectures, one 2-hour laboratory and one 1-hour tutorial per week.


2 hour exam plus laboratories, assignments and night-viewing project (100%).


Bennett, JO et al. The Cosmic Perspective. 6th edition, with Mastering Astronomy. Addison-Wesley. Course lab manual.

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.