This course teaches concepts in comutational dynamical astronomy, such as calculating the mass of an isolated n-body system and modeling the trajectories of binary stars. The course MATLAB and Hipgal (a PC program for extracting data from the Hipparcos Catalogue) for simulations and analyses.
List of topics: Newtonian gravitation and dynamics. Reference systems and units. Galactic coordinates. Astrometry and the determination of the distances, motions and distribution of stars. The HR diagram and the colours, luminosities and ages of stars. Stellar kinematics. The solar motion and the Local Standard of Rest. The rotation curve, differential galactic rotation and Oort's constants. Non-circular motions. The galactic potential and galactic orbits. The phase space, collisionless Boltzmann equation and Jeans' equations. Dynamical determination of masses and mass densities.
Material created by Lennart Lindegren and Melvyn B. Davies.
Target audience: Advanced undergraduate (3rd or 4th year)
Institution: Lund University (Sweden)
Materials available: Problem sets or projects, Lab materials, Downloadable code or data files