An immersive research experience in observational astrophysics for students who have completed AST 337. Students design an independent scientific observing program and carry it out at the WIYN 0.9m telescope on Kitt Peak, AZ in January. The rest of the semester is spent reducing and analyzing the data obtained and preparing scientific results for presentation. Professional techniques of CCD imaging, photometry, astrometry and statistical image analysis are applied using research-grade software. Weekly class seminar meetings are supplemented by individual and team-based tutorial sessions. Possible projects include studying star formation regions and star formation histories in external galaxies, measuring ages and chemical composition of star clusters, searching for exoplanets, supernova or eclipsing binary stars. Prerequisites: AST 337 and permission of the instructor. Enrollment limit of 10 students.
Prerequisites: AST 337 and permission of the instructor.