This unit of study explores the lives of the stars, leading some to explosive ends and the formation of a black hole. You will learn about the life cycle of a star from its birth in the interstellar medium to its fate as a stellar remnant - as a white dwarf, neutron star or perhaps a black hole. You will work with simulations to gain an appreciation and understanding of the methodology and techniques of modern astronomy, especially astronomical spectroscopy that allows us to measure the composition, physical state and motion of the stars. These measurements also reveal the extreme properties of stellar remnants. More recently, observations of gravitational waves have opened a new window on the universe, allowing us to study the merger of neutron stars. Our study of spectroscopic and gravitational wave observations of extreme environments will clearly illustrate how modern astronomy depends on advancing technology leading to new instrumentation and observational capabilities. The unit also includes opportunities for day and night observing sessions.
4 weeks of online material and quizzes; face-to-face workshop 1 hr/week; tutorial 1 hr/week; single night observing session 2 hrs
On-line Quizzes (25%), Tutorials (15%), Viewing report (10%), Final Examination (50%)