Year 11 Physics: the Universe

MUSEUM STAFF-LED

Year 11
Term 2 May 24 to June 30, 2017
Wednesdays and Fridays, 3.30pm
Minimum 15 students
Maximum 150 students

Science, Technology

School programs and resources

Year 11 Physics: The Universe – what we know now and how we are striving to know more

This program supports the astrophysics section of the Year 11 Physics course, Unit 1, Area of study 3, “What is matter?” The session runs for one hour and students will have the opportunity to see two complementary ways of visualising the universe.

The session begins with the new planetarium show, Capturing the Cosmos, which was produced by the Melbourne Planetarium in partnership with academic researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).

The show highlights the work being carried out by professional astronomers within Australia. They are using new and innovative telescopes such as SkyMapper in NSW and the Murchison Wide-field Array in WA, to survey large sections of the sky. Generating enormous datasets, astronomers are finding things we’ve never seen before that will help us to better understand the universe.

Concepts included in the show: the Big Bang Theory, the evolution of the universe, the structure and expansion of the universe, the use of Type 1a supernovae as measuring sticks for distant galaxies, different views of the night sky using various forms of electromagnetic radiation, dark energy.

The session concludes with the students being taken on a journey through the most complete and accurate 3D atlas of the universe ever made.

These datasets, which have been compiled by the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium with support from NASA, clearly show the different scales and structures of the universe.

Curriculum links

  • VCE Year 11 Physics Area of Study: What is matter and how is it formed?