In this section of AST 337 we provide an introduction to the techniques of gathering and analyzing astronomical data, with an emphasis on optical observations related to studying stellar evolution. Students use Smith's telescopes and CCD cameras to collect and analyze their own data, using the IDL computing language. Topics covered include astronomical coordinate and time systems; telescope design and optics; instrumentation and techniques for imaging and photometry; astronomical detectors; digital image processing tools and techniques; atmospheric phenomena affecting astronomical observations; and error analysis and curve fitting.
At least one of AST 224, 225, 226 or 228, and one physics course at the 200-level. Previous experience in computer programming is strongly recommended.
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.