DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Space Science and Astronomy
Module Code PS213
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Maria Chernyakova
Semester 2: David Long
Autumn: David Long
Module TeachersMaria Chernyakova
David Long
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

Module Aims: To introduce students to the space technology and astronomy both ground based and in space. To introduce the basic principles of space science & technology such as:Orbits, data transfer, communications, rocket propulsion, human space flight, history of space technology, stage separations, launch systems, organizations- NASA, ESA. To illustrate in particular the astronomical applications of space science. An introduction to galaxies, cosmology and the evolution of the universe.

Learning Outcomes

1. Ground based astronomy.
2. Space astronomy
3. Orbits and satellites
4. Rocket propulsion and the difficulties in launching, using and recovering satellites.
5. Gravitational & neutrino astronomy
6. Galaxies & cosmology

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 lectures per week
Tutorial61 hours per week
Assignment Completion10CA tests
Independent Study85studying lecture material, solving numerical problems, background reading
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Ground based astronomy
Astronomical windows in the atmosphere. Ground based visible & infrared astronomy Angular resolution of a telescope Radio astronomy

Space astronomy
Hubble & Webb telescopes Astrometry satellites, parallax measurements Detecting exoplanets, Ultraviolet astronomy X-ray & γ ray astronomy

Orbits & satellites
Circular & elliptical orbits Gravitational potential energy & escape velocity. Transfer orbits and exploring the solar system

Rocket propulsion
Rocket propulsion, solid & liquid fuel rockets Launch sites and types of orbits Reusable rockets & future developments

Gravitational & neutrino astronomy
Detection of gravitational waves Neutrino astronomy

Galaxies & Cosmology
Our galaxy and other nearby galaxies Galactic clusters and the large-scale structure of the universe Cosmic microwave background Big Bang theory and the evolution of the universe

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class Testn/a10%Week 6
In Class Testn/a10%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 3
Indicative Reading List

  • H D Young & R A Freedman: 2019, University Physics, 15th, Pearson,
Other Resources

43928, Website, NASA, 0, NASA website, US, https://www.nasa.gov/, 43929, Website, ESA, 0, ESA website, Europe, https://www.esa.int/ESA, 43930, Website, 0, Space website, https://www.space.com/, 43931, Lecture notes, E Cunningham, 0, PS213 lecture notes, DCU, Loop.dcu.ie,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
PHABSc in Physics with Astronomy
Date of Last Revision22-JAN-09

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement