Observational Astrophysics I
This course deals with fundamental concepts in observational astronomy/astrophysics. It teaches the concepts needed to plan and execute observations for scientific purposes, as well as for interpreting the resulting data.
Collecting data and interpreting the results, as well as assessing the uncertainties involved, is a key component of the scientific method. In this course, you will learn the implementation of this process for the context of observational astronomy. We will discuss how to prepare observations, how different telescopes and detectors work, and how to acquire, reduce and analyze astronomical data. Aside from learning about these principles, you will also apply them in real-life to an actual observation that is performed during the course. The course will also prepare you for the option of taking the follow-up course “Observational Techniques II”, where you will have the opportunity to both plan, execute, and analyze observations with large telescope facilities.
The course is given during daytime. It is given as part of the MSc program in Astronomy, but can also be taken outside of this framework. It is a prerequisite for taking the course “Observational Techniques II” unless equivalent experience can be demonstrated.
The course includes lectures and exercise sessions. In addition, there is a lab session for acquiring observations with either the AlbaNova telescope or a remote telescope facility.
Markus Janson. Correspondence via the course page in Athena.
Alexander Pietrow. Correspondence via the course page in Athena.
There is a written exam at the end of the course. The score on the exam along with possible bonus points from solving exercises in class forms the basis for the course grade. In addition, there is a telescope lab report that needs to be handed in and a group work that needs to be presented to pass the course.
ScheduleThis is a preliminary schedule and is subject to continuous change. For this reason, we do not recommend print-outs. At the start of the course, your institution will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
Course literatureNote that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
“To Measure the Sky – An Introduction to Observational Astronomy”, Frederick R. Chromey, Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition.
The academic advisor and student office can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.