Course Description


Course number: ASTR-4120

Instructor
: Professor Douglas Whittet

Observational Astronomy is an upper-level undergraduate course with the goal of teaching students the techniques of astronomical data acquisition and analysis. It aims to provide a solid grounding in the physics and technology of light detection, the basics of astronomical telescopes and instruments, and methods of acquiring and analyzing data. The syllabus includes telescope design, adaptive optics, astronomical imaging, photometry and spectroscopy. Students will have the opportunity for hands-on experience with the telescope at Rensselaer's Hirsch Observatory.

Observational Astronomy operates in tandem with Earth & Sky, a lower-level undergraduate course designed as a non-technical elective.