Planetary Science

AST80015 12.5 Credit Points Online


  • One Semester or equivalent

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.

2022 teaching periods


HOL Study Period 3

29 Aug 22 - 27 Nov 22

23 Dec 22

Last self enrolment:
11 Sep 22

19 Sep 22

Last withdraw without fail:
14 Oct 22



Aims and objectives

This unit will provide students with a detailed understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of planetary science - combining astronomy, geology, chemistry, and atmospheric science. It will investigate the origins and evolution of our Solar System, the terrestrial and giant planets, planetary atmospheres and surface phenomena.

Unit Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Distinguish that planetary science is an inter-disciplinary field involving astronomy, physics, chemistry and geology and describe inter-related concepts in a non-technical manner understandable to the general public
2. Explain planetary orbits and discuss the nature of gravity in shaping our Solar System
3. Discuss planetary atmospheres, surfaces and interiors and explain specifically what they can teach us about planet formation
4. Explain and discuss the origins and evolution of our Solar System
5. Use problem solving skills to explain and synthesise solutions to problems in planetary science
6. Design and create a research project on an astronomy topic, assessing and critiquing current knowledge, using credible sources of astronomical information, data and research articles

Courses with unit

Master of Science (Astronomy)