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Late Stages of Stars, Supernovae and Gamma-ray Bursts

  • 7.5 credits

In this course you will study fundamental processes governing the final stages of the stellar life cycle, and how some stars end as supernova explosions and gamma-ray bursts.

Information for admitted students Autumn 2020

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from the department - courses

Everyone admitted to a course at the Department of Astronomy will receive a welcome letter with important information via e-mail. If you have not receive the mail by the beginning of August, please contact our study advisor!


Courses at the Department of Astronomy do not have a roll-call. Instead the course starts with the first lecture.


After being admitted to a course, you must register to confirm that you are starting your studies. For most of our courses this can be done online using your university account. Registration normally opens two weeks before the course starts and you must have registered at the latest one week after the first lecture. If you have any problems with registration, contact our student office. Contact details can be found below.

Click here to register online.

Learning platform

All courses at our department use the Athena learning platform. Once registered, the course should appear automatically in Athena. If you cannot find the course, contact the course coordinator.

Conditionally admitted

If you are conditionally admitted to a course at our department you need to contact our study advisor before you can register. Contact us as soon as possible, well before the course starts. Contact details are found further down on this web page.

Applicants on waiting list

Are you placed on a waiting list to any of our courses? You will always be contacted by e-mail if you  are offered a place. Normaly we will not admit new students if more than 1 week has passed after the firsts lecture.

Find the Departmend of Astronomy

All our courses are held in the AlbaNova building, located between the Frescati campus and the Royal Institute of Technology (Tekniska högskolan, KTH).

Find AlbaNova.

Education during autumn 2020

Most courses at the Department of Astronomy during the autumn semester will have lectures given online while practical elements (e.g., laboratory exercises) and examination take place on campus.

Click here to read more about the education during autumn 2020.

More specific deatalis regarding this course can be found in the schedule or on the course page in the Athena learning platform. If you have questions you can contact the course coordinator; contact details are found further down on this web page.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

Find your way on campus

Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.

Find your way on campus

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Pre-departure information

New in Sweden

Supernova 1987A. Image credit: ALMA: ESO/NAOJ/NRAO/A. Angelich; Hubble: NASA, ESA, R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) and P. Challis (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics); Chandra: NASA/CXC/Penn State/K. Frank et al.

Through this course you will develop an understanding of the fundamental processes governing the evolution of stars in their dramatic late stages. While the sun and other light stars only burn hydrogen and helium, and end as white dwarfs, more massive stars continue nuclear fusion until an iron core is formed. You will learn what such stars look like, and what different outcomes are possible once the nuclear fuel is eventually exhausted. This depends on a variety of physical processes such as how the star loses mass by stellar winds, and how neutrinos first cool and then sometimes explode the core. You will study how different elements are made in supernova explosions and gamma-ray bursts, and how neutron stars and black holes are born.

  • Course structure

    This is an advanced level course, given at 50% pace. It can be taken as part of the Master’s program in Astronomy or as a free-standing course.

    Teaching format

    Lectures and exercises/computer laborations.

    Lecturer: Anders Jerkstrand


    Written exercises, seminars and reports.


    Peter Lundqvist

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Course literature: Material will be made available through the course page
    in Athena or handed out during lectures.

  • Contact

    The student office and academic advisor can be reached via