Astronomy C3646

OBSERVATIONAL ASTRONOMY

Hours: 2:40PM-3:55PM Tuesday, Thursday

Classroom: Pupin 214 (moving to 1332)

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Instructor:
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Professor of Astronomy

Phone number: 854-7899

Office: Pupin 1012

Office hours: Wednesday 2PM-4PM, and as required (by appointment, please)

e-mail: arlinastro.columbia.edu

Instructor's home page.

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Course summary:
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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.

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Prerequisites:
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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.

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Course Syllabus and Assignments
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Required texts:
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Recommended texts:
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Columbia University home page.
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