N. Cretton
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Optional Class in Astronomy

This year, once a week I give a one hour optional class in astronomy (wednesday, 17:00). Aside from the subjects of the Astronomy Class (Settimana d'approfondimento), I plan to speak about:
  • Solar and Lunar eclipses
  • Birth, life and death of stars
  • Our Galaxy, the Milky Way
  • Dark halos in spiral galaxies
  • Cosmological N-body simulations
  • Big bang, expansion of the Universe, dark energy

Millenium Run,
N-body simulation with 10'077'696'000 particles, Volker Springel et al.

Simulating the joint evolution of quasars, galaxies and their large-scale distribution

The Milky Way
Our galaxy, The Milky Way, in different wavelengths. (Credit: NASA)

The evolution of stars in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (HR)
Where do stars go in the HR diagram when they leave the main sequence and become red giants? (Credit). See also section 2.2.9 of my astrobiology lectures.

Saturn as seen from Cassini
Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan (Credit: ESA/NASA)

Saturn's Rings (seen from Cassini)
Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan (Credit: ESA/NASA)