First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCN1035987, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2490, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ASTROPHYSICS OF GALAXIES
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ALESSANDRO PIZZELLA FIS/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of extra-galactic astrophysics. In particular, about morphology, photo-metric profiles, kinematics of galaxies.
Target skills and knowledge: Students will learn about the most advanced frontiers of the study of galaxy formation and evolution.
Examination methods: Oral exam
Assessment criteria: The evaluation will take into account the knowledge and the understanding of the topics addressed in the lectures.
Course unit contents: 1) Luminosity function of galaxies. Spectroscopic and photometric classification of galaxies at high redshift. Effect of the environment. Main extragalactic surveys from space and ground-based telescopes. The local group and the nearby universe.
2) Galaxy kinematics with integral field spectroscopic, 5 hours
3) Scaling relations in elliptical galaxies: The fundamental plane and its evolution with redshift. Kormendy relation. Faber-Jackson relation. Dn-sigma relation.
4) Scaling relations in spiral galaxies: Tully-Fisher relation and its evolution with redshift. Low and high surface brightness disks.
5) Galaxy clusters and dark matter distributions: Mass of galaxy clusters with X ray halos and gravitational lensing. Dark matter properties in galaxies and clusters.
6) Supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies.
7) Chemical properties of stellar populations in galaxies: Evolution, metal enrichment and chemical abundance gradients (spectro-photometric indices, Lick system). Mg-sigma relation. Mg-escape velocity relation. Color-magnitude relation. Star formation rate with morphological type, environment, and redshift. Passive evolution and hierarchical clustering.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures in the classroom with blackboard and PowerPoint presentations. Some exercises are done in the computer laboratory.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lecture notes and PowerPoint presentations available in the Moodle website of the course. available through the Moodle website of the course on the e-learning platform of the Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei" ( The textbook covers only a part of the program.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Schneider, Peter, An Introduction to Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology. Heidelberg: Springer, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

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