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SH1003 Introductory Astronomy for Engineers 7.5 credits

Basic course in astronomy for engineers

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Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH1003 (Spring 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course provides an introducion to basic concepts in astronomy and gives a scientific background to engineering in the field. The following topics are covered:

Classical astronomy: the movement of celestial bodies, coordinate systems, eclipses.

Telescopes and instruments: techniques at different wavelengths.

Stars: the sun, stellar evolution, the deaths of stars.

Planets: planets of the solar system, exoplanets.

Galaxies and cosmology: contents and properties of galaxies, Big Bang.

The latest break-throughs in astronomical research.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course the students should be able to:

  1. explain basic terminology and concepts within all the mail areas of the course
  2. describe and discuss methods that are used to determine the properties of astonomical objects (e.g, masses and distances)
  3. describe and analyse a chosen topic in the area of telescopes/instruments from an engineering perspective. Present the results in a written report and talk.
  4. describe topical questions in astronomical research.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Basic eligibility and Physics 1/Physics A

Recommended for students who study technical physics (or have equivalent knowledge in physics) SH2402 instead.

Recommended prerequisites

Basic eligibility, the course is aimed at all students in KTH.


The course requires no equipment


The course does not require course literature

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB1 - Observing exercises, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The coursehas three examination parts:

1. A group project involving in-depth study of a topic in the area of telescopes/instruments, with emphasis on engineering aspects. The results are be presented in a written report and a talk. 2hp (P/F), objective 3.

2. Two observing exercises, presented in written reports. 1.5 hp (P/F), objectives 1 and 2.

3. Written exam. 4hp (A-F), objectives 1,2 and 4.

Other requirements for final grade

Pass grades inall examination parts

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Josefin Larsson,

Supplementary information

For students who are in the enigneering physics programme (or have a similar background in physics) the course SH2402 is recommended instead.

Study visit related to space industry