|Sense of Scale
|Continuing our scale model up to about 7000 light years. What do we find and what can we see with the naked eye? Units of distance in Astronomy; the magnitude scale.
|Most stars are not alone. Binaries, Trinaries, etc. Open Clusters.
|Distance and proper Motion
|Parallax as the first rung of the cosmic distance ladder outside the Solar System. How does it work and how do we separate it from proper motion of stars?
|Exploring the Nearest stars
|An extensive exploration at increasing distance of a selection of the star systems, Open Clusters and Nebulae we find in this region.
|Introduction to the most important physical characteristics of a star. Mass; what is luminosity?; Relation between temperature and colour. Introducing the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR-) diagram.This prepares for Spectroscopy and Stellar Evolution.
|Nature of Light
|What is light? From Pythagoras to Niels Bohr. Reflection, Refraction, Diffraction and Interference. Wave-Particle Duality? Quantum model of light. Electron energy levels. Photon energy and absorption and emission lines in the light spectrum.
|Spectroscopy in Astronomy
|Spectroscopy as the most important observation technique in astronomy. Discovery of Fraunhofer lines. Spectral classification and the HR-diagram again. Applications of spectroscopy. Radial velocity.
|Star formation. Nuclear fusion explained. Main sequence stars. The final stage for sun-like and more massive stars. Neutron stars and Black holes. Mapping stellar evolution on the HR-diagram. The importance of the HR-diagram.
|How do we find exoplanets? Observation programmes in space and on the ground, Properties and classification of exoplanets. How do we search for life? Any chance of finding intelligent life?
|Travel to the stars
|A popular topic around the coffee table, but how realistic is that?. An inventory using a bit of physics.