First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP4068137, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1160, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ASTRONOMY 2 (MOD. B)
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian

Teacher in charge GIOVANNI CARRARO FIS/05

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

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses 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 30/09/2019
End of activities 20/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

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: Specific intensity.
Black body.
Radiative energy transport through a gas volume with absorption and emission.
The source function Sλ.
Absorption versus emission lines.
Transport equation.
Transport along a radius.
Radiative transfer equation.
The fluxes.
Surface flux and effective temperature.
Flux and anisotropy of the radiation field.
Radiation density.
Depth dependence of the source function.
Radiative equilibrium.
Theoretical temperature stratification in a grey atmosphere in radiative equilibrium.
Dependence of the temperature from the optical depth.
Continuous absorption of hydrogen atoms.
Different absorption process of hydrogen.
Boltzmann equation.
Saha equation
The H- absorption coefficient in the Sun.
Helium absorption in the Sun.
Metallic absorption in the Sun.
Absorption coefficients for A and B stars.
Influence of the non greyness of the absorption coefficient.
Dependence of the Balmer discontinuity on temperature and electron density.
Formation of optically thin lines.
Profile of an optically thin absorption line.
Doppler broadening.
Voigt profile.
Equivalent widths for optically thin lines.
Optically thick lines.
Curve of growth.
Influence of the Doppler width on the curve of growth.
The influence of Sλ (Tc = 0) on the curve of growth.
Theoretical curve of growth.
Hydrogen lines.
Balmer jump and hydrogen lines.
Determination of temperature, density and gravity at the surface of a star.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures and exercises on observational data. Lectures are in Italian.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Textbook. Lecture notes of the teacher available through the website of the course on the e-learning platform of the Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei" (
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Boehm-Vitense, E., Stellar Astrophysics, Vol. 2. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Cerca nel catalogo

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

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