Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

ASTR 4410: Experimental Astronomy

Credit Hours4

PHYS 2214/PHYS 2218 or PHYS 3310 or PHYS 3360, PHYS 3323/PHYS 3327. Recommended prerequisite or instructors’ permission:  ASTRO 3310 or ASTRO 3334.

Typically OfferedFall

The course covers methods in optical and radio astronomy and selected topics in astrophysics.  Major experiments use techniques chosen from charge-coupled device (CCD) imaging, optical photometry, optical spectroscopy, radiometry and radio spectroscopy.  Observations use the Hartung-Boothroyd Observatory’s 24-inch telescope and a 3.8-meter radio telescope on the roof of the Space Sciences Building.   The course covers the fundamentals of astronomical instrumentation and data analysis applied to a wide range of celestial phenomena: asteroids, main-sequence stars, supernova remnants, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, the interstellar medium, OH masers, and galaxies.  Methods include statistical data analysis,  artifact and interference excision, Fourier transforms, heterodyned receivers, and software-defined radio.