From the Sun to Supernovae, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and Galaxies!
The Master's Degree Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences – Astronomy and Space Physics encompasses a broad range of topics from the physics of the sun and solar system to stellar and galactic structure and evolution, as well as topics in high energy astrophysics and cosmology.
The Astronomy and Space Physics track is one of the four specialisation tracks of the Master´s Degree Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences. The other tracks of the programme are Materials Chemistry, Materials Physics, and Theoretical Physics. Upon graduation, you will be able to use the diverse set of skills acquired as part of this track, including computational and numerical techniques.
The Astronomy and Space Physics track includes a solid grounding in theoretical aspects as well as providing opportunities for observational studies (e.g. of supernovae or accreting black holes); the space physics group performs experimental, theoretical and computational research on high-energy phenomena in near-Earth space.
Academic Excellence & Experience
The aim of the Master’s education is to support you to become an independent expert who can evaluate information critically, plan and execute research projects to find new knowledge, and solve scientific and technological problems independently and as part of a group.
Master's Thesis & Topics
The Master’s degree programme includes a compulsory thesis component (30 ECTS), which corresponds to six months of full-time work. The thesis is to be written up as a report based on a combination of a literature review and an original research project that forms the bulk of the thesis.
The thesis is an independently made research project but the project will be carried out under the guidance of leading researchers in the field at the University of Turku. It is expected that the student will be embedded within an active research group or experimental team, thereby providing excellent opportunities to discuss results and exchange ideas in a group setting.
Recent examples of thesis titles in astronomy and space physics are:
Flux decay during thermonuclear X-ray bursts: decay rate analysis using the dynamic power-law index method
Mass and radius constraints for neutron stars from pulse shape modelling
Near-infrared observations of supernovae with the Nordic Optical Telescope
The population of supernovae and their progenitors in starburst galaxies
Photometric studies of exoplanet transits of stars in the open cluster M44
Polarimetric studies of binary stars: the case of HD 4809
Variability of optical polarization and gamma-ray flux in blazar jets
Linear polarization of BL Lacertae OJ 287 at 21 cm
Very high energy gamma-rays emitting BL Lac’s population study
A statistical study of velocity dispersion analysis of Solar particle eruptions
Design, construction and testing of the prototype of a simple particle instrument for a space flight
Modelling solar energetic particle fluences using observations from ground level events
Calibration and simulations of SIXS-P response to energetic particles
Transport of energetic charged particles in reservoirs behind CME-driven shock waves
Instruments for observing energetic neutral atoms in space
The Master’s Degree Programme of Physical and Chemical Sciences has four tracks. A short description of this specialisation track is given below. You can find more detailed information on tracks from the specific site of each track by clicking on the links below.
Students specialising in Astronomy and Space Physics can choose among three lines of studies: theoretical astrophysics, observational astronomy and space physics. You will acquire knowledge of various astrophysical phenomena and plasma physics, from the Solar systems to neutron stars and onto galaxies and cosmology. You will also get hands-on experience with observational techniques, space instrumentation, numerical methods and analysis of large data sets.
and Theoretical Physics.