autumn 2021
FYS-2019 Sun, planets and space - 10 ECTS

Last changed 22.09.2021

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Type of course

The course is available as a singular course. The course is mandatory for students on the five year master study in space physics. The course is also available to exchange students and Fulbright-students

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are general studiekompetanse + SIVING

Local admission, application code 9391 - enkeltemner i ingeniørfag.

Course overlap

FYS-1007 Planets and stars 2 stp

Course content

The course is concerned with the basic properties of Earth's upper atmosphere, of the planets and small objects in the solar system, of the interplanetary space and the Sun as the central star of this planetary system; it also includes the particle and field components. Present understanding of the formation of the solar system, of other solar systems and extra-solar planets will be presented. The basics of space flight and space exploration will be introduced as well as the influence of the sun and other cosmic phenomena on the Earth. The importance of space flight for other disciplines and national and international space programmes will be sketched and the state of the art of the space programmes described.

Recommended prerequisites

FYS-0100 Basic physics, MAT-1001 Calculus 1

Objectives of the course

Knowledge - The students can

  • apply basic physics to describe the spatial structure and constituents of the solar system
  • describe in terms of basic physics the interactions of different solar system constituents,
  • describe the basic physics of space flight,
  • describe major differences in the conditions of measurements and observations in space compared to on Earth.

Skills - The students can

  • solve basic physics problems describing the properties and interactions of the Sun, planets and small solar system objects,
  • solve basics problems of physical processes in the vicinity of planets
  • calculate in first approximation the orbits of spacecraft and solar systems objects and describe parameters that enter full orbital calculations

General Competence - The students can

  • describe the origin and compositions of the solar system and planetary systems in general,
  • describe the Sun-Earth interactions and their influence on modern technology
  • see the complementarity of space research with other disciplines,
  • understand the relevance of space research and space flight for modern society.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is in English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 50 hours

Exercises: 30 hours


Coursework requirements: Up to three mandatory assignments during the course. Access to the final examination requires passing the mandatory assignments. 

Examination: Final 4 hour written exam counting 100%.

Assessment scale: Letter grades A-F. A is the highest grade, F is fail.

Re-sit examination: Students having failed the last ordinary examination are offered a re-sit examination early in the following semester.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: FYS-2019