SH1003 Introductory Astronomy for Engineers 7.5 credits

Introduktion till astronomi för ingenjörer

Basic course in astronomy for engineers

  • Education cycle

    First cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

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

Course offerings

Spring 19 for programme students

Spring 20 for programme students

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.

Course main content

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.


The course i aimed at all students at KTH.

However, for students who are in the engineering physics programme (or have a similar background in physics) the course SH2402 is recommended instead.

Recommended prerequisites

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


Comins/Kaufmanm "Discovering the Universe"


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

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.

Requirements for final grade

Pass grades inall examination parts

Offered by

SCI/Undergraduate Physics


Josefin Larsson,


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


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2017.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2016.