Observational Astronomy (308)

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These notes are brief summaries and links for the in-class content for the Monday class meetings of the Fall Semester 2019.


Week 1 (August 19)

Week 2 (August 26)

  • What we observe
    • Position and celestial coordinates
    • Flux and magnitude
  • What we infer
    • Distance
    • Size
    • Luminosity
    • Composition
    • Evolution
  • Useful tools for access to data


Week 3 (September 2)

  • Labor Day holiday


Week 4 (September 9)

  • Telescopes
    • Basic concepts of optical telescope design
    • Light gathering function
    • Focal plane scale
    • Angular resolution and point spread function
    • Detectors and filters
  • Visit to the Planetarium
    • Solar projection telescope
    • Solar imaging in hydrogen alpha light


Week 5 (September 15)

  • Telescopes continued from last week as needed
  • AstroImageJ
    • Installation
    • Use with simple images
    • Photometry
    • Advanced concepts