|During finals week, I'll be in Gosnell classroom 08-1335|
|Monday, May 17||1:00 PM - 2:00 PM|
|Tuesday, May 18||4:00 PM - 6:00 PM|
This material can be found online at URL
Building 76, Office 1274
Office phone: 475-2538
Syllabus for the quarter
Tuesday 4:00 - 5:50 pm 76-1230 Thursday 4:00 - 5:50 pm 76-1230
Some of our classes will be held in the Imaging Sciences Computer Lab. I'll announce in class when this will occur.
We will also meet several times at night at the RIT Observatory, which is located on John Street, near its intersection with Bailey Road. Look at maps to the Observatory.
This course provides students with the tools they need to plan an observing run for an astronomical target, operate a telescope, acquire digital images with a CCD camera, reduce the images, and analyze the results. At the end of the course, students will carry out a project and write up their results in poster form (and, optionally, make an oral presentation).
|Week 1: Basic knowledge of the sky|
|Astronomical coordinate systems|
|The many different kinds of time|
|Photometric systems and colors|
|Extinction, seeing and other real-life complications|
|Week 2: Planning an observing run|
|Ephemerides and tools for making finding charts|
|Week 3: Telescopes and Cameras|
|The RIT telescopes|
|Introduction to CCDs|
|CCDs: The Dark Side|
|Using Windows lab computers to analyze images|
|Week 4: Noise properties of CCDs|
|Sample project ideas (a brief digression)|
|Analyzing dark frames from Sep 25, 2003|
|Hot pixels and cosmic rays|
|Median dark frames|
|Finding the background level|
|Week 5: Image analysis|
|Aligning and stacking images|
|Weeks 6: Putting it all together|
|Signal versus Noise (some theory)|
|Planning an observing run|
|Signal versus Noise, with illustrations|
|Week 7: Data Analysis (and observing)|
|Simple aperture photometry by hand|
|The Typical Reduction Procedure|
|Using Perl scripts to align and coadd many images|
|Placing CCD photometry on a standard system|
|Some basic astrometry|
|Measuring proper motion|
|Week 8: Period analysis and working outside the optical|
|Looking for the period|
|What if the period isn't quite right?|
|Week 9: Stuff they don't teach in any courses (and observing)|
|The Astronomical Literature|
|Writing your own scientific paper|
|Week 10: Doing your project|
There will be periods during which students will be required to work at the Observatory at night.
Take a look at the calendar for the RIT Observatory in order to reserve time for your project. All students enrolled in the course should be able to access this calendar using their RIT E-mail accounts.
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