This course aims at letting the students understand the movements of celestial bodies, including the discussion of the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets. It is also expected that students will master the use of star catalogues, for understanding and building systems of reference.
The main competencies are: capacity analysis and synthesis; ability to formulate and solve problems; ability to work in groups; critical thinking; autonomous learning ability; initiative and entrepreneurshipt; ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practice.
- Brief introduction to Newtonian Mechanics: Brief history (Ptolemy, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler and Newton) and concepts (the three Kepler's laws for the motion of the planets around the Sun, the three laws of Newton for the movement of a particle, inertial reference systems, law of universal and constant pull of universal gravitation).
- Proper motion of stars and correct coordinates.
- Movement of a point in a Newtonian field.
- Problem of the two bodies.
- Some applications:
- Study of the annual motion of the Earth and the apparent annual motion of the sun.
- Effects on the observations: parallax and annual aberration.
- Study of the movement of artificial satellites.
- Problem of n bodies. Introduction to perturbation theory.
- Some applications:
- Study of the precession and nutation of the Earth and the effects on the comments.
- Extrasolar planets.
- Transformation between apparent coordinates and averages. Star catalogs
Astronomy Elements, Linear Algebra and Analytic Geometry I and II, Infinitesimal Analysis I and II, Differential Equations and Modelling
Generic skills to reach
. Competence in analysis and synthesis; . Computer Skills for the scope of the study; . Competence to solve problems; . Competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice; . Competence for working in group; . Critical thinking; . Competence in autonomous learning; . Initiative and entrepreneurial spirit; (by decreasing order of importance)
Teaching hours per semester
total of teaching hours
assessment implementation in 20142015 Assessment Resolution Problems: 25.0% Mini Tests: 25.0% Frequency: 50.0%
Bibliography of reference
Santos Loff, D. M. - Notas sobre Mecânica Celeste: Texto de apoio à disciplina (disponível em Material de Apoio)
Fitzpatrick, P. M. : Celestial Mechanics ? Pergamon Press, Londres, 1958
Alves, A. S. : Mecânica Geral ? INIC, Coimbra, 1988
A significant part of practical classes is expositive in nature, complemented by the presentation of specific examples and problem solving for applying the acquired knowledge. Personal and group work and discussion in the classroom are encouraged by the teacher. Students are also accompanied individually to discuss their work and to identify any difficulties.