History of Astronomy

AST80008 12.5 Credit Points Off-Campus Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • 1 Semester or equivalent 
    Final Offering SP3 2019 

2019 teaching periods


HOL Study Period 3

26 Aug 19 - 24 Nov 19

20 Dec 19

Last self enrolment:
1 Sep 19

16 Sep 19

Last withdraw without fail:
11 Oct 19

Aims and objectives

This Unit will investigate the development and impact of astronomy from ancient times to the present
day, from the viewpoint of practicing astronomers. No background knowledge of astronomy or
physics is assumed.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

1. Identify and describe the social reasons which lead to the development of astronomical knowledge in ancient times

2. Discuss and explain the development of astronomical concepts and techniques throughout the ages in world societies

3. Recognise the major influences on and key players in the development of astronomy as it emerged as a science in western societies

4. Appraise the interplay of Newtonian and post-Newtonian physics with astronomy, and the influence of the rise of scientific instrumentation in astronomy

5. Judge the social implications of the historical development of astronomy, plus the status of astronomy as an international science in the 21st century

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