First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP4068136, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1160, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ASTRONOMY 2 (MOD. A)
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian

Teacher in charge SERGIO ORTOLANI FIS/05

Integrated course for this unit
Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Annual
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 28/06/2019

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of Calculus 1 and 2, Physics 1 and 2, Quantum Physics (Mod. A), Astronomy.
Target skills and knowledge: Acquire ability in the use of the basics of physics necessary for the interpretation of the physical features of stellar atmospheres through photometric and spectroscopic investigation.
Examination methods: Mod. A.: Oral or written exam with open questions about the topics of the lectures.
Mod. B: Oral exam about the topics of the lectures, possibly integrated by the presentation of a topic related to the program chosen with the teacher.
Assessment criteria: Knowledge of the program. Ability of discussing and linking the different topics discussed during lectures. Ability to express in a proper and scientific way.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: The course is dedicated to the basic concept of astronomy, focalized mostly to the observational-interpretative aspects. The course is extended to the study of the infrared and radio wavelengths domain. The program includes a first part dedicated to the atmospheric effects on the astronomical observations. The second part is dedicated to the continuum emission mechanisms, in particular from galactic sources. In this section the classes the thermal, free free and synchrotron emission are analyzed in detail. Finally a special section presents the pulsar properties and analysis of their observational parameters.
1) Overview of the electromagnetic spectrum.
2) The vertical structure of the Earth atmosphere.
3) The turbulence in the Earth atmosphere and the seeing.
4) The radar in astronomy: the radar equation and applications.
5) Summary of the black body laws and astrophysical applications.
6) The thermal emission and the transfer equation of an interstellar cloud.
7) Radio thermal emission of the galaxy: free free emission and the continuum spectrum of a HII region.
8) Synchrotron emission of the Galaxy. Faraday rotation.
9) Pulsars and neutron stars: properties, distances, galactic distribiution. Basic emission model of the pulsars and their ages. Formation frequency of the pulsars and their progenitors.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Frontal lectures with the use of blackboard, slides and PowerPoint presentations. Lectures are given in Italian.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lecture notes provided by the teacher and available through the course website on the e-learning platform of the Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei" ( Scientific papers about some specific topics are also available as additional material.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)