Radiation astronomy/Courses/Principles

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This image is a composite of several types of radiation astronomy: radio, infrared, visual, ultraviolet, soft and hard X-ray. Credit: NASA.

The course objective is to provide students with the principles of radiation astronomy. At the end of the course, a student should have a well-rounded knowledge of astronomy, radiation, and observational and theoretical astronomy, each as they apply to radiation sources in the sky especially at night.

The course is built upon the ongoing research performed by astronomers around the world and in the not so empty space above the Earth's atmosphere.

In line with the Wikiversity ideal of learning by doing are sixteen laboratory opportunities, an equal number of problem sets at several levels, and participatory lessons. To present a wide variety of concepts within radiation astronomy, there are forty-eight lectures which are also partly articles as references from the scholarly literature are included to challenge the student and open doors to further curiosity. Some sixteen supplemental quiz section lectures/articles are included for additional learning.

The course material is layered from a primary/secondary level, to a university/tertiary level, and topped off with an introduction to research of which some is here at Wikiversity. A label indicating the education level may not be present for each resource.

The general subject area is astronomy. This includes knowledge of physics, chemistry, geography, history, and other subjects.

In some instances your interaction and responses may be used for research purposes. Your username and/or other identifiers are not included. If the resource itself is also being used for research purposes you will see the icon: Bob, the guinea pig.jpg. If your actions have been used for research purposes, this little icon may appear on your user talk page.


Although a working knowledge of calculus and physics is beneficial, most concepts presented require only an understanding of algebra. Additional learning resources are also provided through the course to increase a student's background knowledge.

Completion levels[edit]

This course is dynamic, but may also be taken as a semester offering by Wikiversity, see the syllabus for the next formal class period.

Lectures and quizzes may have a level of completion icon following it based on ≥ 100 kb equals 100 %, or 100 questions is 100 %, the midterm and final are based on 300 questions equals 100 %:

  1. This resource is a stub, which means that pretty well nothing has been done yet. 0-5%. Smiley green alien cry.svg
  2. This resource is just getting off the ground. Please feel welcome to help! 6-15%. Tulliana launch.png
  3. Been started, but most of the work is still to be done - 16-30%. SYawning.svg
  4. About halfway there. You may help to clarify and expand it - 31-45%. Face-blush.svg
  5. Almost complete, but you can help make it more thorough - 46-60%. Nuvola apps kcontrol.gif
  6. Ready for testing by learners and teachers. Please begin! 61-75%. Sweden road sign A10.svg
  7. This resource is considered to be ready for use - 76-90%. Emblem-extra-cool.svgR
  8. This resource has reached a high level of completion - 91-100%. Emblem-extra-cool.svgC

All resources have been completed in time for students taking the course during any semester. Updates to any resource that do not affect course content may occur at any time. Other updates may occur either with appropriate notices or where the subsequent update is incorporated in any subsequent hourly, midterm or final quiz. Additional content revisions or updates will occur between semester offerings.

A completion icon may not be present for resources already at 100 %.

Lecture or article changes that affect content after the beginning of a semester are not included in that term's requirements:

  1. Rocky objects described in Meteorites that are not meteorites or the product of meteorite falls or strikes are being removed as they are duplicates of material already in the course. Students are responsible for this material where it occurs outside the meteorites lecture/article.


Each set of three lectures are associated with the learning-by-doing laboratory experiences, mini-lectures plus quizzes for the student to test their learning progress with some additional information, 2-3 lengthier exams often referred to as 'hourlies' (may take an hour to work through at a timed pace), a mid-term exam which is all-encompassing for the first half, and a final exam over the entire course material. The examinations are designed to be taken iteratively as many times as the student desires to achieve a thorough working knowledge of the subject.

Quiz section lectures[edit]

Lectures under development for likely inclusion[edit]

Lectures under development for possible inclusion[edit]


For the course, sixteen laboratories should be completed. Examinations containing information from any laboratory will list it.


Lessons are participatory original research projects. They are part of the history of science and only require some skills in map reading and comparison and contrast. Some familiarity with literature searching such as on Wikipedia, SIMBAD, or the web is beneficial and included in the instructions.

Problem sets[edit]

Under development:

  1. Lenses and focal length Smiley green alien cry.svg
  2. Neutrino emissions Smiley green alien cry.svg


The quizzes may be rated by number of questions, with 100 questions being a high level of completion, even though some are at lower numbers of questions.

  1. Astronomical observatories/Quiz
  2. Astronomy/Quiz
  3. Astrophysics/Quiz
  4. Background astronomy/Quiz
  5. Beta-particle astronomy/Quiz
  6. Blue astronomy/Quiz
  7. Cosmogony/Quiz
  8. Cosmic-ray astronomy/Quiz
  9. Crater astronomy/Quiz
  10. Cyan astronomy/Quiz
  11. Electron astronomy/Quiz
  12. First astronomical source/Quiz
  13. First astronomical X-ray source/Quiz
  14. Galaxies/Quiz
  15. Gamma-ray astronomy/Quiz
  16. Green astronomy/Quiz
  17. Infrared astronomy/Quiz
  18. Intergalactic medium/Quiz
  19. Interplanetary medium/Quiz
  20. Interstellar medium/Quiz
  21. Mathematical astronomy/Quiz
  22. Meteor astronomy/Quiz
  23. Meteorites/Quiz
  24. Microwave astronomy/Quiz
  25. Muon astronomy/Quiz
  26. Neutrino astronomy/Quiz
  27. Neutron astronomy/Quiz
  28. Optical astronomy/Quiz
  29. Orange astronomy/Quiz
  30. Planetary science/Quiz
  31. Positron astronomy/Quiz
  32. Proton astronomy/Quiz
  33. Radar astronomy/Quiz
  34. Radiation/Quiz
  35. Radiation astronomy/Quiz
  36. Radiation chemistry/Quiz
  37. Radiation detectors/Quiz
  38. Radiation entities/Quiz
  39. Radiation geography/Quiz
  40. Radiation history/Quiz
  41. Radiation mathematics/Quiz
  42. Radiation satellites/Quiz
  43. Radiation telescopes/Quiz
  44. Radio astronomy/Quiz
  45. Red astronomy/Quiz
  46. Solar binary/Quiz
  47. Source astronomy/Quiz
  48. Standard candles/Quiz
  49. Star fission/Quiz
  50. Star-forming region/Quiz
  51. Stellar active region/Quiz
  52. Stellar science/Quiz
  53. Stellar surface fusion/Quiz
  54. Submillimeter astronomy/Quiz
  55. Superluminal astronomy/Quiz
  56. Theoretical astronomy/Quiz
  57. Theoretical radiation astronomy/Quiz
  58. Ultraviolet astronomy/Quiz
  59. Violet astronomy/Quiz
  60. Visual astronomy/Quiz
  61. X-ray astronomy/Quiz
  62. X-ray trigonometric parallax/Quiz
  63. Yellow astronomy/Quiz


  1. Hourly - Lectures 1-16
  2. Hourly - Lectures 17-32
  3. Hourly - Lectures 33-48

Midterm examination[edit]

Final examination[edit]

Alternate examinations that may be used by your college or university for credit (and a grade) in this course will be available from Wikiversity by courier for closed proctored session testing of proficiency.


While this course may be taken in any order by each student, it may also be taken during a specific calendar period comparable to a university semester such as from January through May or August through December.

Consult the syllabus for the weekly schedule.

Next semester offering:[edit]

First full week in January 2017 through May 2017. Principles of radiation astronomy/Syllabus/Spring

Ongoing semester offering:[edit]

Second full week in August 2016 through December 2016. Principles of radiation astronomy/Syllabus/Fall

Weekly lectures[edit]

Each full week one lecture on each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Three lectures in the order indicated in the template Principles of radiation astronomy at the page bottom.

Weekly laboratories[edit]

One laboratory opportunity is to be attempted for each of the sixteen weeks and is due at the beginning of the following week.

Each laboratory opportunity is to be started on Tuesday with the lab report due the following Tuesday.

Weekly lessons[edit]

The lessons are once a week beginning on Thursday and the report is due the following Thursday. Contributions to the online lesson are voluntary. Student does so being aware that the information once contributed is as "Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply." Note online contributions in lesson report.

Weekly problem sets[edit]

Problem sets are to be started on Thursday with the written answers showing work due the following Thursday.

Quiz sections[edit]

Each Tuesday has a quiz section mini-lecture.

In the Thursday quiz section, the quiz for the mini-lecture is to be taken.

Problem sets and lesson contributions are due at the beginning of the Thursday quiz section.


  1. Several courses could be offered dealing with radiation astronomy.
  2. A dynamic-only course could be offered dealing with specific radiation astronomies or potential radiation astronomies.

Student participation[edit]

The top 100 learning projects for 2015 (through October), includes all pages and subpages, concerning the course are

  1. 29. 39138 - Radiation astronomy, with 106 subpages.
  2. 49. 27083 - Astronomy, with 40 subpages.

The ranking of astronomy resources in this course during 2015 of the top 1000 in number of hits here at Wikiversity are

  1. 218. 7830 - Astronomy/Mathematics or Mathematical astronomy
  2. 403. 4431 - Principles of Radiation Astronomy
  3. 434. 4118 - Astronomy
  4. 518. 3515 - Mathematical astronomy
  5. 583. 3135 - Radiation astronomy
  6. 652. 2823 - Classical planets
  7. 736. 2301 - Radiation astronomy/Detectors or Radiation detectors
  8. 738. 2279 - Intergalactic medium
  9. 739. 2272 - Radiation detectors
  10. 753. 2180 - Radiation astronomy/Courses/Principles/Syllabus/Spring
  11. 794. 1991 - Proton astronomy
  12. 878. 1635 - Planetary science
  13. 947. 1385 - Astrophysics
  14. 965. 1336 - Stellar science
  15. 971. 1314 - Radiation astronomy/Courses/Principles/Syllabus/Fall
  16. 993. 1236 - Classical planets/Quiz

Those astronomy resources not specifically a part of the course are

  1. 322. 5382 - School:Physics and Astronomy
  2. 908. 1542 - Natural electric field of the Earth
  3. 950. 1372 - Planets
  4. 985. 1264 - Planets/Quiz
  5. 987. 1262 - Saturn
  6. 995. 1236 - Planets around other stars
  7. 998. 1233 - Category:Introduction to the Planets
  8. 999. 1233 - Introduction to the Planets

For 2014 a maximum number of 5215[1] hit the keynote lecture Radiation astronomy.

The top 100 learning projects for 2014, includes all pages and subpages, concerning the course were none.

The ranking of astronomy resources in this course, or often mentioned, of the top 1000 here at Wikiversity are

  1. 144. 9999 - Mathematical astronomy
  2. 226. 7135 - Stellar science
  3. 231. 7043 - Principles of radiation astronomy
  4. 234. 7025 - Radiation detectors
  5. 275. 6254 - Gamma-ray astronomy
  6. 353. 5215 - Radiation astronomy
  7. 401. 4623 - Astronomy
  8. 506. 3863 - Meteorites
  9. 567. 3505 - Cosmic-ray astronomy
  10. 595. 3406 - Blue astronomy
  11. 604. 3367 - Neutrino astronomy
  12. 612. 3349 - Galaxies
  13. 642. 3259 - Electron astronomy
  14. 667. 3146 - Regional astronomy
  15. 680. 3092 - X-ray astronomy
  16. 694. 3050 - Proton astronomy
  17. 699. 3029 - Ultraviolet astronomy
  18. 715. 2978 - Optical astronomy
  19. 726. 2931 - Neutron astronomy
  20. 734. 2899 - Template talk:Astronomy resources
  21. 738. 2882 - Violet astronomy
  22. 769. 2801 - Source astronomy
  23. 810. 2695 - Positron astronomy
  24. 873. 2549 - Crater astronomy
  25. 883. 2531 - Visual astronomy
  26. 895. 2511 - Interstellar medium
  27. 897. 2511 - Theoretical astronomy
  28. 921. 2436 - Interplanetary medium
  29. 943. 2379 - Lofting technology
  30. 951. 2369 - Radiation telescopes
  31. 968. 2323 - Astrophysics
  32. 983. 2305 - Intergalactic medium
  33. 984. 2304 - Principles of Radiation Astronomy/Syllabus
  34. 994. 2280 - Radiation geography

Those astronomy resources not specifically a part of the course are

  1. 302. 5933 - School:Physics and Astronomy
  2. 734. 2899 - Template talk:Astronomy resources
  3. 814. 2683 - Astronomy Project
  4. 835. 2638 - Moon
  5. 963. 2338 - Portal:Physics and Astronomy

See also[edit]


  1. Dave Braunschweig (January 5, 2015). "Wikiversity:Statistics/2014, In: Wikiversity". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2016-01-27. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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