Astronomical Techniques - WWW Course Notes
I've taught senior/grad courses in techniques for astronomical
observation and data analysis, usually using a text such as
Kitchin's Astrophysical Techiques as a basis. Inevitably
I feel the need to say more... As a supplement, I've prepared
fairly extensive notes on some topics. These notes are being updated
during the course in spring 2016. For actual students in the course,
here is the syllabus.
Introduction: far-field detection of radiation,
its measurement and (mis)interpretation. We deal with the atmosphere,
telescopes and related optics, detection, processing, and auxiliary instruments.
Stokes-parameter approach. Photon and wave applications.
Detectors: the human eye
More detectors: photomultipliers,
charge-coupled devices, other types (including IR arrays)
Noise and signal-to-noise optimization,
Statistics of Poisson processes,
model fitting and testing.
Telescopes: image formation, diffraction
Image formation and aberrations
Telescope structures and mountings
Tracking and acquisition; moving targets.
Atmospheric seeing and adaptive optics.
Observatory sites and enclosures; dome
seeing, thermal and climatic effects. Atmospheric absorption and transmission
windows. Robotic telescope operations.
Spacecraft-borne astronomy: orbital considerations,
pointing, attitude control and determination.
Past and present space observatories.
Radio and microwave detection
(continuum and line). Radio telescopes - single dish and cross antennae.
the inverse problem, deconvolution, image display and processing .
Photography in astronomy -
Chemical theory,processing, archival procedures.
Image structure, spectral response, reciprocity, HD curve.
Artifacts: saturation, halation, exhaustion, solarization.
Hypersensitization, emulsions, films, plates, filter use
Astrophotography at the telescope:
Guiding, focal locations and relative speeds.
Unsharp masking, image amplification,intensifiers.
Arrays, scanned detectors, drift scanning, image stacking.
CCDs, TVs, intensified systems, photon counters. Some
techniques for processing images so you can find
out what to measure.
2-element case, fringe pattern, Fourier treatment.
Multiple elements - image reconstruction. Deconvolution again.
Spectral interferometry: Fabry-Perot,
spectrometer. Occultation observations (they had to fit somewhere).
Photometry: Whole art in details.
Absolute/differential. Single/multistar applications.
Filter/detector (photometric) systems.
Inferring stellar parameters.
Spectroscopy - observation,
calibration, reduction, spectrophotometry.
coordinate systems and transformations,
spherical trig and matrix formulations.
Precession, nutation, aberration of starlight.
Polarimetry: emphasis on Q,U,V.
Broad-band, single-channel and imaging. Spectropolarimetry.
Data presentation and assessment:
graphics standards, interaction with eye and brain.
Data archives in astronomy
Finally, a bit of career advice!
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