- Positional astronomy: latitude and longitude; horizontal coordinates; equatorial coordinates (right ascension and declination); sidereal time; conversion between coordinate systems.
- Gravitation: development of the heliocentric model of the solar system (from Ptolemy to Copernicus); retrograde motion; Kepler’s laws; Newton’s law of universal gravitation; Newton’s physical explanation of Kepler’s laws.
- The nature of light: light as particles and waves; blackbody radiation; Wien and Stefan-Boltzmann laws; absorption and emission line spectra; Kirchoff’s laws; line series of Hydrogen and explanation by the Bohr model; the Doppler effect.
- Telescopes: refractors; reflectors; magnification; light gathering power; chromatic and spherical aberration; angular resolution; active and adaptive optics; detectors; spectrographs; atmospheric windows; radio, IR, UV, and X-ray telescopes; space telescopes.
- The solar system: terrestrial planets; gas giant planets; comets and asteroids; formation of the solar system; extrasolar planets.
Properties of stars: parallax and distance measurements; flux and luminosity; the magnitude scale; photometric bands and colours; dust extinction and reddening; bolometric fluxes and luminosities; spectral classification; the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram; main-sequence lifetimes; mass-luminosity relation.
- Stellar structure: the equations of stellar structure (mass conservation, hydrostatic equilibrium, energy production, radiative transport); nuclear reactions in stars; energy transport mechanisms; solar neutrinos.
- Stellar evolution: the evolution of low and high mass stars; red giants; white dwarfs; planetary nebulae; the horizontal branch; supernovae; neutron stars; stellar clusters; binary stars; star formation and Jeans analysis.