Proceedings of the 1st Aegean Cosmology Summer School
(2001).

astro-ph/0205166

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**Abstract.** The following review is based on lectures given in the
1^{st}
Samos Cosmology summer school. It presents an attempt
to discuss various issues of current interest in Observational
Cosmology, the selection of which as well as the emphasis
given, reflects my own preference and biases. After presenting
some Cosmological basics, for which I was aided by excellent
text-books, I emphasize on attempts to determine some of
the important cosmological parameters; the Hubble constant,
the curvature and total mass content of the Universe. The
outcome of these very recent studies is that the *concordance*
model, that fits the majority of observations, is that with
_{m}
+ _{} = 1,
_{}
0.7,
*H*_{0}
70 km s^{-1}
Mpc^{-1},
_{B}
0.04 and spectral index
of primordial fluctuations, the inflationary value *n*
1. I apologise before
hand for the many important works that I have omitted and for the possible
misunderstanding of those presented.

**Table of Contents**

- BACKGROUND - PREREQUISITES
- Basic Elements of Dynamical Cosmology
- Thermal Beginning of the Universe
- Cosmological Parameters
- Distribution of Matter in the Universe
- DISTANCE SCALE, HUBBLE CONSTANT & THE AGE OF THE UNIVERSE
- Distances of Extragalactic Objects
- Biases affecting Distance Determinations
- Distance Indicators:
- The Value of Ho and the Age of the Universe
- DETERMINATION OF THE MATTER/ENERGY DENSITY OF THE UNIVERSE
- The CMB fluctuation spectrum
- The Hubble diagram with SNIa
- Clustering of Galaxies, Clusters & QSO's
- M/L observations
- Cluster Baryon Fraction:
- Large-Scale Velocity Field:
- Rate of Cluster Formation Evolution:
- SUMMARY
- REFERENCES