Course guide of Astrophysics (26711B2)

Curso 2024/2025
Approval date: 10/06/2024

Grado (bachelor's degree)

Bachelor'S Degree in Physics







Year of study




ECTS Credits


Course type

Elective course

Teaching staff


  • Carlos Antonio Abia Ladrón de Guevara. Grupo: A
  • María Inmaculada Domínguez Aguilera. Grupo: A
  • Ute Lisenfeld . Grupo: B
  • Mónica Relaño Pastor. Grupo: B


  • Carlos Antonio Abia Ladrón de Guevara Grupo: 1
  • María Inmaculada Domínguez Aguilera Grupo: 1
  • Ute Lisenfeld Grupo: 2
  • Mónica Relaño Pastor Grupo: 2

Timetable for tutorials

Carlos Antonio Abia Ladrón de Guevara

  • Monday de 09:00 a 11:00 (Despacho 18)
  • Tuesday de 09:00 a 11:00 (Despacho 18)
  • Friday de 09:00 a 11:00 (Despacho 18)

María Inmaculada Domínguez Aguilera

  • Wednesday de 16:00 a 19:00 (Despacho 17)
  • Friday de 11:00 a 14:00 (Despacho 17)

Ute Lisenfeld

  • First semester
    • Monday de 12:00 a 14:00 (Despacho 11)
    • Tuesday de 12:00 a 14:00 (Despacho 11)
    • Thursday de 12:00 a 14:00 (Despacho 11)
  • Second semester
    • Monday de 10:00 a 13:00 (Despacho 11)
    • Tuesday de 10:00 a 13:00 (Despacho 11)

Mónica Relaño Pastor

  • Tuesday
    • 11:00 a 13:00 (Despacho 11 Edif.Mecenas)
    • 14:00 a 15:00 (Despacho 11 Edif.Mecenas)
  • Wednesday
    • 11:00 a 13:00 (Despacho 11 Edif.Mecenas)
    • 14:00 a 15:00 (Despacho 11 Edif.Mecenas)

Prerequisites of recommendations

It is recommended to have taken the following courses:

  • Fundamentals in astrophysics
  • Atomic and molecular physics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Optics
  • Statistical physics
  • Compulsory courses in year 1 and 2

Brief description of content (According to official validation report)

Stellar atmospheres, stellar evolution, interstellar medium, properties of galaxies, large scale structure, cosmology.

General and specific competences

General competences

  • CG01. Skills for analysis and synthesis
  • CG02. Organisational and planification skills
  • CG03. Oral and written communication
  • CG06. Problem solving skills
  • CG08. Critical thinking
  • CG09. Autonomous learning skills
  • CG13. Knowlegde of a foreign language

Specific competences

  • CE01. Knowing and understanding the phenomena of the most important physical theories
  • CE02. Estimating the order of magnitud in order to interpret various phenomena
  • CE03. Knowing and understanding the mathematical methods necessary to describe physical phenomena
  • CE05. Modelling complex phenomena, translating a physical problem into mathematical language

Objectives (Expressed as expected learning outcomes)

  • Ability to use the knowledge acquired in different areas in a multidisciplinary field.
  • Understanding stellar physics and the evolution of stars.
  • Understanding astrophysics of galaxies and the interstellar medium.
  • Understanding the different cosmological models.
  • Get prepared for astrophysical research.
  • Knowledge of the techniques of data acquisition and interpretation of astronomical data.
  • Get familiar with astrophysical modelling techniques.

Detailed syllabus


  • Topic 1: Radiative transport in stellar atmospheres. Radiative transport equation. Formal solution. Local thermodynamical equilibrium (LTE). Diffusion approximation. Other solutions. Formation of spectral lines. Non-LTE.
  • Topic 2: Stellar structure, evolution and nucleosynthesis. Characteristic stellar time-scales. Thermonuclear reactions. Energy transport in stars. Equations of stellar structure. Star formation and evolution. Compact objects and supernovae.
  • Topic 3: Morphology and classification of galaxies, The Hubble classification of galaxies. Other classifications. The Milky Way. Interstellar medium: HI and HII regions, molecular clouds.
  • Topic 4: Galactic dynamics. Rotation curve of spiral galaxies and dark matter. Stellar motion in galaxies. Lindblad resonances. Spiral arms and bars. Formation and evolution of galaxies.
  • Topic 5: Large scale structure of the Universe. The Local Group. Galaxy clusters. Interaction of galaxies. Superclusters. Large scale structure of the universe.
  • Topic 6: Cosmology. Cosmological models and equations. The Big Bang: inflation and primordial nucleosynthesis. Cosmic microwave background. Acceleration of the expansion of the Universe. Cosmological parameters: Inventory of matter and energy.



  • Seminars given by professionals about current topics of interest in astrophysics.

Practical sessions and problems: One or several of the practical sessions will be carried out by the students.

Practical session 1. Determination of the distance and age of stellar clusters.

Practical session 2. Calculation of models of the stellar structure of ZAMS.

Practical session 3. Simulations of stellar evolution

Practical session 4. The distance-redshift relation of Hubble-Lemaitre.

Practical session 5. Large scale structure of the universe.

Practical session 6. Galaxy dynamics and dark matter.

Problems and exercises related to the theoretical content of the lectures


Basic reading list

  • Binney, J., Merrifield, M.: Galactic Astronomy. Princeton University Press.
  • Böhm-Vitense, E.: Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics (Vol. 1-3). Cambridge University Press
  • Bowers, R. Deeming, T.,: Astrophysics Vol. I & II. Jones and Bartlett Publishers Inc.
  • Carroll, B.W., Ostlie, D.A.: “An introduction to Modern Astrophysics”. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
  • Clayton, D.D.: Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis. University Chicago Press.
  • Gray, D.F.: The Observation and Analysis of Stellar Photospheres. Cambridge University Press
  • Sparke, L.S., Gallagher, J.S.: Galaxies in the Universe. Cambridge University Press
  • Schneider, P.: Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology, Springer Verlag

Complementary reading

  • Combes, F. et al.: Galaxies and Cosmology. Springer.
  • Glendening, N. K.: Compact Stars. Springer.
  • Kippenhahn, R., & Weigert, A.: Stellar Structure and Evolution. Springer Verlag.
  • Longair, M.S., Galaxy Formation. Springer Verlag
  • Mihalas, D.: Stellar Atmospheres. W. H. Freemand & Co.

Recommended links

NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED): http//

Specialized astrophysical articles:

Sociedad Española de Astronomía:

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía:

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias:

Teaching methods

  • MD01. Theoretical classes

Assessment methods (Instruments, criteria and percentages)

Ordinary assessment session

The student assessment and final score will take into account the presentation of seminars, the work in problem solving and practical sessions and the final exam, in which the students have to show the skills acquired during the course.

  • Exam: 50%
  • Practical sessions, problems and participation in class: 50%

Extraordinary assessment session

The extraordinary assessment test will be the same as the single final assessment test.

Single final assessment

The students that, according to the rules of the UGR and within the fixed time frame, choose to have a single final assessment test, will make a theoretical (50%) and a practical/problems exam (50%) which will allow a complete assessment of their knowledge.

Additional information

Información de interés para estudiantado con discapacidad y/o Necesidades Específicas de Apoyo Educativo (NEAE): Gestión de servicios y apoyos (