Room 1332, Pupin Hall
Professor of Astronomy
Phone number: 854-7899
Office: Pupin 1012
The goals of this course are three-fold: to give you an overview of the
state-of-the-art in different disciplines and wavebands, to teach you useful
tricks of the trade, to familiarize you with the observational environment in
many wavebands, and to give you some hands-on experience.
The course will emphasize optical, particularly ground-based, astronomy, but
spend considerable time at other frequencies.
For many of these latter topics, I've invited speakers in each field.
During my lectures I will try to impart as many pieces of useful information as
I can: graphs, formulae, computer subroutines, network database directions, and
so forth, which will be of direct use to you.
(Keep them in a notebook for later use!)
Your experience is also welcome: approximately one-quarter of each class will
be devoted to discussion.
There are a selection of projects to be done outside of class, including
observation, hardware construction and research.
I'll attempt to hold to the following lecture schedule, although dates of guest
speakers may change:
19 Jan.: Time and Celestial Coordinates
24-26 Jan.: Radiation and the Atmosphere
31 Jan-2 Feb.: Photometry, Time Series Analysis (w/ J. Patterson)
7-9 Feb.: Spectroscopy
14-16 Feb.: Polarimetry; Radio (w/ J. van Gorkom)
21-23 Feb.: Astrometry; X-rays (w/ D. Helfand)
28 Feb.-2 Mar.: Ultraviolet (w/ D. Schiminovich); Gamma Radiation (w/ C. Hailey)
7-9 Mar.: Sub-millimeter, Millimeter, IR (w/ A. Miller); Gravitational Waves (w/ S. Marka)
21-23 Mar.: Databases; Optical Detectors (MDM Observatory 2.4-meter run)
28-30 Mar.: Optical Instruments
4-6 Apr.: Optical Design and Telescopes
11-13 Apr.: Statistics
18-20 Apr.: Statistics
25-28 Apr.: Statistics; Observing Project Workshop
2 May: Observing Project Workshop
There will be scattered problem sets, one or two projects per person (depending
on project difficulty), and a final exam.
I encourage you to make a notebook collecting the more sage bits of information
from the course.
Grades will also be based on a final exam (30%),
problem sets (20%), and observing projects (50% apiece).
The professor will strive to distribute fairly complete lecture notes for the
These are some of the ideas that Prof. Crotts suggests.
Observations can take place from the roof of Pupin Lab, using the Celestron
14-inch telescope; other must make use of the PARI radio telescopes or the MDMO
These are most of the examples already developed:
X/Gamma/Radio Flux of Young Pulsar (w/ Helfand)
Optical Spectroscopy of Quasar Pair Candidates
Optical Color-Magnitude Diagram of Open Clusters
Velocity Structure of Galactic Arms and Nebulae from 21cm PARI Radio Telescope
Optical Linestrengths in Supernova Remnant IC 443 (w/ Hailey)
Velocity Dispersion of Galaxy Clusters from Optical Spectra (w/ Hailey)
X-ray Profile, Temperature, etc. of Same Galaxy Cluster (w/ Hailey)
Constructing a CCD System from a Kit
Surface Brightness and Integrated Colors of Spiral versus Elliptical Galaxies
Minor Axis of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy (w/ Cseresnjes)
Also note that there are several projects involving data which has already been
collected, including projects involving data archives on the World-Wide Web,
plus more of my ideas and yours, too.
We will cover some basic statistical methods, such as linear and non-linear
regression analysis, non-parametric test, and more basic things.
In addition to the following texts (all of which you can inspect in my
office), I will assign one or two journal articles per week, most of which
are available in Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics or Publications
of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, in the 14th floor library.
This is comprehensive, accurate and detailed, but expensive.
Observational Astrophysics (1996) by P. Lena, F. Lebrun and
F. Mignard; translated by S. Lyle (Springer), ISBN 3-540-63482-7 ($86.95
hardcover, $54.95 used at Amazon.com).
I don't expect you to buy any of these, certainly not all of them.
You can find many on reserve, and you can ask to borrow my copy.
Astronomical Observations (1987, reprinted 1989) by Gordon Walker
(Cambridge: NY), ISBN 0-521-33907 ($37.95 paperback, call 800-872-7423),
Astronomical Optics (1987) by Daniel J. Schroeder (Academic Press: San
Diego), ISBN 0-12-629805-X ($73 hardcover, call 800-782-4479),
Astronomical Photometry (1990) by Arne A. Henden & Ronald H. Kaitchuck
(Willman-Bell: Richmond), ISBN 0-943396-25-5 ($24.95 hardcover, call
Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences (1992)
by Philip R. Bevington and D. Keith Robinson (McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-911243-9,
$52.75 paperback, $44.95 used at Amazon.com).
Handbook of CCD Astronomy by Steve B. Howell (2000) (Cambridge),
ISBN 0-521-64834-3 ($26.00 paperback).
Handbook of Infrared Astronomy by I. S. Glass (2000) (Cambridge),
ISBN 0-521-63311-7 ($26.00 paperback).
Principles of Long Baseline Stellar Interferometry ed. Peter R. Lawson
(1999) (NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Publ. #00-009, free upon request:
Michelson Fellowship Program, http://sim.jpl.nasa.gov)
Telescope Optics (1988, reprinted 1993) by Harrie Rutten & Martin van
Venrooij (Willman-Bell: Richmond), ISBN 0-943396-18-2 ($24.95 hardcover, also
$24.95 for MS-DOS optical design software, call 804-320-7016).
Useful Optics (1991) by Walter T. Welford (U Chicago Press), ISBN
0-266-89305-7 ($12.95 paperback, call 312-568-1550).