The purpose of this course is to give the student a working familiarity with many of the issues involved in collecting scientifically useful astronomical data. This involves making observations for two projects per students: collecting the data, analyzing and interpreting it. Many of these projects have the potential of producing results applicable to ongoing research.
The course also involves lectures, organized parallel to the textbook Astronomy Methods: A Physical Approach to Astronomical Observations by Hale Bradt (2004, Cambridge U. Press, ISBN 0-521-53551-4, available at the CU bookstore). One later lecture will be based on the first chapters of suggested text Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences by Philip R. Bevington and D. Keith Robinson (1992, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-911243-9, which will also be in the bookstore), but other readings are acceptable. (The reading questions will be taken from Bevington and Robinson, however. This is a valuable book that will serve students throughout their scientific career, and it is strongly recommended.) Prof. Crotts will organize his lectures according to the same outline, but they will serve to supplement the textbook, not just reiterate. He has observed with a wide range of ground-based and space-based telescopes, so can relate how they are used from his own professional experience. There is a set of reading questions at the end of each chapter in Smith, please answer these and bring them to class when that chapter is being covered. There will also be additional problem sets, assigned every two weeks.
One year of introductory astronomy. The level of mathematics required is basic algebra, which we will use extensively. THE STUDENT IS URGED TO BE REALISTIC IN JUDGING WHETHER THEIR MASTERY OF ALGEBRA AND GEOMETRY ARE SUFFICIENT AND FRESH IN THEIR MIND.
Course Syllabus and Assignments
Required texts:Astronomy Methods: A Physical Approach to Astronomical Observations by Hale Bradt (2004, Cambridge U. Press, ISBN 0-521-53551-4, available at the CU bookstore).
Recommended texts:Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences by Philip R. Bevington and D. Keith Robinson (1992, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-911243-9, also in the CU bookstore), but other readings are acceptable.
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2012 September 3