Exploring the Solar System

AST80005 12.5 Credit Points Online


  • 1 Semester

Contact hours

  • 150 contact hours - Online

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning. For Online unit delivery, learning is conducted exclusively online.

2023 teaching periods


HOL Study Period 3

28 Aug 23 - 26 Nov 23

22 Dec 23

Last self enrolment:
10 Sep 23

18 Sep 23

Last withdraw without fail:
13 Oct 23





Aims and objectives

This Unit aims to provide an introduction to our solar neighbourhood, including terrestrial planets, giant planets, minor bodies and the Sun. The emphasis is on conceptual astronomy rather than mathematical techniques.

Objectives Unit Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

1. Explain the basic principles of both celestial motion and planetary astronomy, and summarise these concepts in a non-technical manner understandable to the general public

2. Describe night sky observing and compare and contrast celestial phenomena

3. Distinguish our place in the solar neighbourhood, and differentiate between our present environment on Earth and that of our companions in the Solar System

4. Recognise and discuss the social implications of planetary research

5. Use problem solving skills to explain and synthesise solutions to problems in solar system astronomy

6. Design and create an essay on an astronomy topic, assessing and critiquing current knowledge, using credible sources of astronomical information and research articles