TÄHT7004 Formation and evolution of planetary systems 5 ECTS
Organised by
Person in charge
Harry Lehto
Planned organizing times
Period(s) I II III IV
2017–2018 X
Preceding studies
TÄHT5001 Astronomy 1
or equivalent course on fundamental astronomy.

Learning outcomes

The student should be able to:
- understand and conceptualize the highly interdisciplinary context of this field of study;
- explain how the observable parameters of the early protostellar phases of star formation relate to the evolution of the protostar and the protoplanetary disk;
- describe the concept of radioactive and other timing methods and their limitations;
- conceptualize the interplay of planetary, astronomical, geological and biological effects in the formation of an habitable planet;
- explain the importance of isotopic studies and how they relate to various measures in timing, in mapping the conditions of the early solar system, in determining the timing of giant impacts and atmospheric stripping, in evaluating the origin of water on Earth and other parts of the solar system;
- describe the profound effects the detection of exoplanetary systems and very recent NIR instrumentation have brought to the astronomical context of protostellar and planetary systems;
- discuss the importance of the solar system small body study (meteorite, asteroid, comet) studies to the fundamental understanding of the origin of our solar system;
- suggest various observational or laboratory projects to address the issues brought up in the studies of early solar system.


Introduction to the formation and evolution of planets from mainly an astronomical perspective but also with the views to geology, chemistry and biology.
Collapse of an interstellar could, protoplanetary gas disk. Isotope ageing of meteorites.
Formation and migration of planets. Comparison of the solar system planets to exoplanetary systems.
Dynamical evolution of the early solar system. Role of comets and asteroids in early solar system.
Formation of the Earth - Moon system. Early atmospheres of the Earth, and earliest continents.
Faint sun paradox. Astronomical and geological evolution of the early Earth.
The origin of water on Earth and the atmosphere on early earth. The oldest fossil records of life.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 28 h 0 h
Seminar 12 h 0 h

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Written exam
  • In English
Participation in classroom work
  • In English
  • In English


Numeric 0-5.

Recommended year of study

4. year spring
5. year spring

MSc-degree students, year 1 or 2

Study materials

Lecture notes and articles from the astrophysics literature.

Belongs to following study modules

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Implementation details are unavailable.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Degree Programme in Physical Sciences
DP in Physics Education Track
Degree Programme in Physical Sciences
DP in Theoretical Physics
Finnish Study Modules