Topic outline

  • About the course

    The course aims to offer astronomical perspectives to civil engineering, architecture and art, and to explore the influence of astronomy and space sciences on these fields, and to science and culture in general.

    The course is open for all students in the Aalto University. The foci of the course are chosen so as to offer topics relevant for all fields of research in Aalto, in addition to providing the students an opportunity to update their worldview in the large scale.

    The teaching language is English. All material is in English, and will be made available on these pages during the course. See Course timeline for general view of the schedule, and the page "How the course works" for an overview of the general flow of preliminary work, lectures, homework, and learning diaries.

    Registration is now open (for Aalto students see, others see Open University, and Espoo high school students ask your Kurssitarjotin contact) and it ends after the first lecture . In case there are more interested participants than there are student slots, then participants are chosen based on order of registration.

  • General learning outcomes

    After the course the student should be able to:

    1. Characterise the major mileposts in the development of the modern astronomical world-view, both from the modern and the contemporary perspectives.
    2. Relate celestial events (including the everyday phenomena) to their astronomical and physical origin, and have the basic vocabulary for seeking more information for further studies and applications.
    3. Recognise the astronomical background of various constructions (ranging from the Stonehenge to sundials and modern observatories), including non-physical constructs like the calendar.
    4. Illustrate the influence and interplay of astronomy and the society (culture, religion, arts, etc.) in the past as well as today.
    5. Put into cosmological perspective (a) our place in the universe, (b) the scientific and technological development and future challenges in the fields related to astronomy and space research, (c) and the development and limits of the modern worldview.
    6. Become aware of their strengths and weaknesses in learning, and gain experience in self- and peer assessment, and giving feedback.

    MyCourses page structure

    The material and assignments are structured for each week separately. In particular, all assignments related to a specific week can be found under that week's page. Weekly pages are made available one at a time, with preliminary work (to be done before the lecture of that week) coming available a week before the lecture, and after-the-lecture work coming available after each lecture. See also the description "How the course works" (Preliminary work for Lecture 1).


    Joni Tammi, Ph.D., 
    Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory;

    Anne Lähteenmäki, prof., D.Sc. (Tech.)
    Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory & Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering;

    Course assistant

    Irene Björklund,