Topic outline

  • The Zoom room for the course can be found below, at the bottom of the page, under "Zoom room for live teaching sessions".

    Course structure

    There will be one theory session and one practice session for each topic. The sessions are complementary, the first aiming to give the theoretical and scientific background and the latter to provide practical details, such as simulations, assignments, discussions, and so on, to enhance the student's understanding. The theory sessions are on Mondays and the practice sessions on the following Tuesdays, with the deadline for returning assignments on Tuesdays a week after, at the start of the next practice session at 12.15. Most of the theory and practice sessions are live lectures via Zoom, unless otherwise instructed in the schedule below.

    Theory sessions on Mondays at 10-12

    • First theory session 13.9.2021.

    Practice sessions on Tuesdays at 12-14

    • First practice session 21.9.2021.

    Assignment deadlines
    • Tuesdays a week after, at the start of the next practice session at 12.15.


    The exam will be held online on Tuesday 14.12.2021 at 13 - 16. The retake exam is scheduled for 31.1.2022.

    Course schedule

    This is the current schedule for the teaching sessions. Most theory and practice sessions take place via Zoom (marked in blue), and some of them may include preliminary work (marked in yellow). Some sessions include only self-study materials (marked in green), with no live Zoom session.

    Lecture slides and self-study materials, and any other lecture materials, will be posted in Lecture slides and other materials.
    Assignments and preliminary work will be posted in Assignments and preliminary work.

    Theory session
    Practice session    
    13.9. Zoom session
     (14.9. no teaching)
    Course introduction & information
    20.9. Zoom session
     21.9. Zoom session
    Solar system, planets & space environment
    27.9. Zoom session
     28.9. Zoom session
    Plasma 1: Observations
    4.10. Zoom session
     5.10. Zoom session
    Plasma 2: Modelling
    11.10. Preliminary work
    + Zoom session

     12.10. Zoom session
    Coordinate systems & time
    18.10. Zoom session 
     19.10. Zoom session Orbits & celestial mechanics
    Exam week, no teaching
     1.11. Zoom session
     2.11. Zoom session
    Space technology and history
    8.11. Self-study
     9.11. Zoom session
    Emission mechanisms 1
    15.11. Self-study
     16.11. Zoom session
    Emission mechanisms 2
    22.11. Zoom session
     23.11. Zoom session 
    Galactic astronomy 1
    29.11. Zoom session
     30.11. Zoom session
    Galactic astronomy 2
    (6.12. no teaching)  7.12. Zoom session
    Extragalactic astronomy & cosmology (theory session only)

     14.12. Exam
    Exam week, exam on 14.12.

    Course topics

    13.9. Introduction (AL, EK)
    • Information about the course: theory sessions & preliminary work, practice sessions & group and individual assignments, exam. Evaluation methods.
    • Contents of the course & what to expect. Universe.
    • Space scene in Finland and in Aalto: space technology, radio astronomy, space physics.

    20. & 21.9. Solar system, planets & space environment (EK)
    • Solar system structure and bodies, such as planets.
    • Space as an environment for satellites.

    27. & 28.9. Plasma 1: Observations (EK)
    • Space plasma missions and instruments.

    4. & 5.10. Plasma 2: Modelling (EK)
    • Interpretation of observations by models and simulations.

    11 & 12.10. Coordinate systems & time (MTT)
    • Celestial coordinate systems.

    • Time. Time standards.

    18 & 19.10. Orbits & celestial mechanics (JP)
    • Kepler's laws.

    • Types of orbits, orbital elements, trajectories.

    • Effect of gravity.

    1. & 2.11. Space technology & history (JP)
    • Overview of space exploration.

    • History of space technology.

    8. & 9.11. Emission mechanisms 1 (JT)
    • Basics of emission mechanisms: black body radiation, synchrotron emission etc.
    • Significance in space sciences and technology.

    15. & 16.11. Emission mechanisms 2 (JT)
    • Basics of emission mechanisms continued.

    22. & 23.11. Galactic astronomy 1 (AL, IB)
    • Building blocks of the Milky Way: evolution & origin, structure, physics, and rotation.
    • The Galactic center.

    29. & 30.11. Galactic astronomy 2 (AL, IB)
    • Stars.
    • Interstellar medium: dust, neutral and ionized hydrogen, molecules.

    7.12. Extragalactic astronomy & cosmology (MTT)
    • Introduction to galaxies. Redshift. Hubble's law.
    • Radio galaxies. Quasars and other active galactic nuclei. Quasar research at Metsähovi.
    • Basics of cosmology. Cosmic microwave background.

    14.12. Exam
    • See page Exam 14.12.2021 for more details