NFYK16006U Observational Astronomy
Bacheloruddannelsen i fysik
MSc Programme in Physics
The purpose of the summer course is to become familiar with basic elements of modern observational astrophysics and the heart of the course is an observing trip to the Nordic Optical Telescope at which we during three nights will carry out an observational program.
Structure of the Course
The course has three elements:
1) a preparation phase, 2) the actual observations at the telescope,
and 3) a data reduction and report writing phase.
Objective of the Course
The objective of the course is to give the students an introduction to the central elements in preparation, execution and data reduction relating observations at a modern astrophysical observatory.
- phase 1: application for observing time, astronomical instruments, preparation of observing runs (target visibility, finding charts, signal-to-noise considerations).
- phase 2: execution of astrophysical observations at the Nordic Optical Telescope. When possible we will also visit other telescopes on Roque del los Muchachos (e.g., the Swedish solar telescope, the Isaac Newton Group telescopes or the Spanish GTC).
- phase 3: reduction and publication of data.
The student will after having passed the course have these competences:
Prepare for and carry out an observing run at a modern observatory
Extract the astrophysically relevant information from a dataset and write up a report presenting the conclusions in a clear and comprehensive manner.
The student will after having passed the course be able to:
apply for observing time (although there is no guarantee that time will be granted)
prepare an observing run. This includes determining when a given target can be observed during the year and on a given night, how long the target should be observed to reach a specified signal-to-noise ratio, establishing which calibration data are needed, and interact with the observatory staff about which instrumental setup is needed for the run.
Carry out astrophysical observations in an efficient and careful manner, i.e. the skill to actually use a modern telescope and its mounted instrumentation.
The student will after having passed the course know:
how a modern observatory functions
how to do rudimentary reduction of data from a modern telescope
which kind of observations one can carry out with a modern telescope like the Nordic Optical Telescope.
Programming skills and access to a laptop with linux or MacOS is also an advantage
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignmentA final report should be handed in based on the observational data. The report can be written individually or in a group of up to 4 students. The students will have at least 2 weeks to submit the report, and later submission can be arranged with the course responsible on an individual basis.
- Exam registration requirements
Active participation in the course, particularly the observational part at NOT.
- All aids allowed
- Marking scale
- passed/not passed
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
several internal examiners
Same as regular exam.
It is not possible to fulfill the exam registration requirements before the re-exam for a student who has not participated in the observational excursion. The student must follow the course next year.
Students who participated, but did not have a report approved, can submit a new report no later than two weeks before the re-exam.
Criteria for exam assesment
see learning outcome.
- Project work