Jump to Navigation

Extragalactic Astronomy

Extragalactic Astronomy

Course Outline: 

This course builds up on the NASSP Honours course "Galactic/Extragalactic" taught by Prof. Claude Carignan, and concentrates on the properties of normal and active galaxies in the local Universe and in the early Universe. There will be a strong emphasis on reading current and topical papers (published in the astrophysical journals), deconstruction of the methods used and analysis of the results. We will be utilizing data curated and served by international databases (e.g., NASA Extragalactic Database) to exercise the methods learned through lectures and the reading material.


  • Introduction:
    The Big Picture -- From the Local Group to the Cosmic Microwave Background, a breeze through 13 billions years of galaxy evolution.
  • Morphology of Galaxies:
    The classic Hubble (Tuning Fork) Sequence and the modern take on the structure of galaxies.
  • Properties of Galaxies:
    Size, shape, colors, star formation rate, stellar mass and environment.
  • Galaxy Evolution:
    How galaxies build and evolve over the eons of time. Red, blue and the green 'valley' galaxies.
  • Active Galaxies:
    From the dawning Age of Galaxies to the current state of quiescence, active galaxies are the rock-stars of the universe. We will encounter galaxies that are exploding with starbursts, harbouring supermassive blackholes, Seyfert & LINER nuclei and distant Quasar systems.
  • Radio Galaxies and the SKA:
    The future is now, radio astronomy (and notably extragalactic astronomy) is entering a golden 'age' with the SKA pathfinders coming online in the next few years. Here we will discuss the physical processes, types of radio sources (compact/extended,jets) and their multi-wavelength properties.


  • Galaxies in the Universe, L.S. Sparke & J.S. Gallagher, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-521-59740-4
  • Galaxies and Galactic Structure, D. Elmegreen, Prentice Hall, 1997. ISBN 0-137-79232-8 (undergraduate level, but very good)

Programmes | by Dr. Radut