Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

MKEP5 Astronomical Techniques

Core course for Master students, listed on Moodle and LSF

 

Course content (short summary): Concepts, technologies, and physical principles of modern observational techniques, along with their scientific applications. Includes optical telescopes and detectors, imaging and spectroscopy, characterization of data, effect of the atmosphere, multi-wavelength and particle astronomy.

 

Lecturer: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Anna Pasquali

 

Tutors: Dr. Bahar Bidaran, Dr. Markus Hundertmark and Dr. Julian Stürmer

 

Time and location:

  • Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 9:15 - 11, Grösser Hörsaal (gHS), Philosophenweg 12
  • Tutorials by Dr. Julian Stürmer: Monday 9:15 - 11, ARI, SR1
  • Tutorials by Dr. Markus Hundertmark: Tuesday 11:15 - 13, Philosophenweg 12, R056
  • Tutorials by Dr. Bahar Bidaran: Tuesday 11:15 - 13, Philosophenweg 12, R058

Lectures will start on Thursday April 21st 2022. Tutorials will begin on Monday May 2nd.

Homework sheets become available every Tuesday on Moodle and have to be submitted by Tuesday of the following week on Moodle. We encourage solving and  submitting the homework in groups; the maximum is 3 people.

 

Prerequisites: Knowledge of the introductory astronomy lectures (MVAstro0 or WPAstro). Basic knowledge on electromagnetic radiation.

 

Credit points: 8

 

Literature:

  • P. Léna, "Observational Astrophysics", Springer
  • F.R. Chromey, "To Measure the Sky", Cambridge University Press
  • C.R. Kitchin, "Astrophysical Techniques", CRC Press

Additional recommendations for specific parts of the lecture:

  • S.B. Howell, "Handbook of CCD Astronomy",  Cambridge University Press
  • I. Appenzeller, "Introduction to Astronomical Spectroscopy", Cambridge University Press
  • D.J. Schroeder, "Astronomical Optics", Academic Press

 

Exam: Tuesday, July 26th, 9:00 - 11:00

50% of homework points are required for participating in the exam.

 

Course content and planned schedule:

  • 01 Thu 21.4.: Lecture organization; Coordinates and time
  • 02 Tue 26.4.: Atmospheric extinction and airmass; Geometric optics: focal length and image scale
  • 03 Thu 28.4.: Optical aberrations and telescope design
  • 04 Tue 03.5.: Instrumental diffraction and Airy-PSF
  • 05 Thu 05.5.: First part of optical detectors and CCDs
  • 06 Tue 10.5.: Second part of optical detectors and CCDs
  • 07 Thu 12.5.: The night sky; S/N calculation
  • 08 Tue 17.5.: Spectroscopy 1: gratings-grisms-prims, basic mathematical relations
  • 09 Thu 19.5.: Spectroscopy 2: scientific information at different wavelength and resolution: SED and population models, redshift, rotation/dispersion; IFUs
  • 10 Tue 24.5.: Imaging data: flux, magnitudes, noise
  • 11 Tue 31.5.: Imaging data reduction, spectroscopic reduction
  • 12 Thu 02.6.: Imaging data analysis: photometry; Spectroscopic data analysis: line centers, equivalent widths; Flux calibratios
  • 13 Tue 07.6.: Atmospheric turbulence and seeing
  • 14 Thu 09.6.: Active Optics, Adaptive Optics
  • 15 Tue 14.6.: Observation and analysis of the Sun
  • 16 Tue 21.6.: Web-based access of data and measurements; Observational tools
  • 17 Thu 23.6.: Near-, mid-, and far-infrared Astronomy (detectors and instrumentation, science)
  • 18 Tue 28.6.: Radio astronomy (detectors and instrumentation, science)
  • 19 Thu 30.6.: Interferometry: concepts, optical/near-infrared, radio
  • 20 Tue 05.7.: UV astronomy
  • 21 Thu 07.7.: X-ray astronomy: detectors and science
  • 22 Tue 12.7.: Gamma-ray astronomy and particle astronomy
  • 23 Thu 14.7.: Neutrino astronomy; Gravitational wave astronomy; Gravitational lensing; Observational cosmology
  • 24 Tue 19.7.: Questions and answers
  • TUESDAY 26.7.: Exam: 9:00-11:00
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