Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


  • After the course the student has the basic knowledge of astronomy, space physics and space technology that are needed for further studies.
  • The student knows the structure and central physical properties of the universe and the solar system, and the objects contained in them.
  • She/he identifies the basic concepts and tools of astronomy and space physics, and is able to solve simple problems related to them.
  • The student can list what kind of observations can be made of astronomical and solar system phenomena, and what is the motivation behind such efforts.
  • She/he can compute simple orbits of satellites using celestial and orbital mechanics, and can apply various celestial coordinate systems.
  • The student recognises the basic vocabulary used in space science and technology, and how Aalto University is situated in the national and international space research scenes.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 13.09.2021 - 14.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Anne Lähteenmäki, Jaan Praks

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

For question about specific lecture topics contact the corresponding teacher ( For general inquiries contact Anne Lähteenmäki.

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    • Basics of astronomy and space physics.
    • Building blocks and central properties of the universe and the solar system.
    • Emission mechanisms
    • Coordinate systems.
    • Celestial mechanics & orbits.
    • Observations of astronomical and solar system phenomena.
    • Space technology and missions.
    • Space science and technology research and education at Aalto University.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Exercises, learning assignments, examinations.

  • applies in this implementation

    Evaluation and course grades are based on assignments and final exam: both must be passed for passing the entire course. For the final grade, these are then weighted as follows: assignments 60%, exam 40%. Active participation in course activities is essential for passing the course.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Contact hours 48 h (2 x 2 h per week). Independent work 87 h.


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    To be specified.

  • applies in this implementation

    See MyCourses for details.

Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn I-II

    2021-2022 Autumn I-II

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.


Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    See MyCourses for details.