NNMA13002U  Origin and Evolution of the Solar System

Volume 2014/2015

The formation and evolution of the solar system based on cosmo-chemical chronology using short- and long-lived isotopes (such as 26Al-26Mg and 207Pb-206Pb), and on astronomical observations and models of stars and planets.  Meteorites and the thermal and chronological evolution of their parent bodies.  Differentiated meteorites from core, mantle and crust of fully or partially molten asteroids.  Primitive meteorites: their origin and formation of their components. Origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system. The terrestrial planets. The exploration of Mars with space probes. Origin of planetary atmospheres. The outer planets and their moons. Comets and ices. Comparison of our Solar System with other planetary systems (exoplanets).

Learning Outcome


  • Star formation
  • Element synthesis in stars
  • The sequence of events leading to the formation of our Solar System
  • Origin and early evolution of the Solar System
  • Origin and early evolution of Planets and their atmospheres
  • Origin of the Moon
  • Asteroids and their connection to meteorites
  • Main types of meteorites and their relevance for understanding the origin of the Solar System
  • Origin and evolution of comets

  • Short and long-lived chronometers such as 26Al-26Mg and U-Pb
  • Understanding major differences and similarities between our Planetary system and other known planetary systems (exoplanets)


Ability to read and understand Planetary Science papers


An understanding of the theories and observations supporting our current understanding of how the Solar System formed. In particular, the students should be able to relate the bulk properties of our own planet to the processes that controlled them, when the Earth formed. Being able to understand the significance of new data for our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System.

Knowledge of basic concepts of geology is recommended.
Lectures, practical exercises and a written assignment.
The course may be taken as an optional course on both the bachelor and the master part. However, for geology students it is recommended that you take it in the 2nd or 3rd year of the bachelor part.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
The written assignment weighs 20% of the final grade.
The oral exam is without preparation time and weighs 80% of the final grade.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 30
  • Preparation
  • 78
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Practical exercises
  • 6
  • Project work
  • 50
  • Total
  • 206