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Sarah Burke-Spolaor
Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy


Course syllabus.

Live course schedule.


Project #1: Observations with the GBT.
  -->  Project description
  -->  HI Data

Project #2: Measuring X-ray Sources.
  -->  Project description
  -->  Link to Chandra data archive

Project #3: Astronomical catalogs.
  --> Project description

Project #4: Your Own Visual-band Images!
  --> Project description
  --> Rooftop telescope instructions

Homework assignments

Homework #1

Homework #2
  -->  Data for Homework #2 question 4 

Homework #3 [Due Friday Feb 8] 

Homework #4 [Due Friday Feb 15]

Homework #5 [Due Friday Feb 22]

Homework #6 [Due Friday Mar 1]

Lectures and lecture notes

Jan 7 2019: Introduction and basics of basics.
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Jan 9 2019: Luminosity, Intensity, and Flux.
                    [slides]  [lecture hand-out]

Jan 11 2019: Magnitudes and Radiation Processes.
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out] (note: did not get to blackbodies, will do next lecture!)

Jan 14 2019: Blackbody Radiation and Stars as Blackbodies
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Jan 16 2019: Problem-solving day questions and answers

Jan 18 2019: Effects of the Atmosphere.
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Jan 21 2019: No class, MLK day.

Jan 23-25 2019: Coordinates (Jan 25 in Planetarium), guest lecture Loren Anderson.
                    [lecture hand-out covering both lectures]

Feb 4 2019: Time and Planning Observations.
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Feb 6 2019: Optics and Telescope Front-end Basics
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Feb 8 2019: Optics and Telescope Front-end Basics II
                    Problem-solving session questions and answers

Feb 11 2019: Photometry
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Feb 13 2019: Spectroscopy
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Feb 15 2019: Problem-solving day questions (we will wrap this up on 2/22!)

Feb 18 2019: Radio Astronomy
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]

Feb 20 2019: High energies and emission processes

Feb 22 2019: Problem-solving day questions

Feb 25 2019: Fitting and error analysis
                    [slides] [lecture hand-out]
                    [data for gnuplot demo]

Feb 27 2019: Gravitational Waves (Paul Baker guest lecture)
                    Link: LIGO Science summaries
                    Link: GW Open Science Center (formerly LIGO Open Science Center)
                    Link: NANOGrav 11yr GW Background Paper Science Summary
                    Link: "Astrobite" about 11yr CW paper from one of our Grad students!

Mar 1 2019: Midterm Review [see earlier in this page for equation sheet]

Mar 8 2019: Linux/Unix Basics

Mar 18 2019: Interactive Python Session Part 1 (Devansh Agarwal guest lecture)

Mar 20 2019: Interactive Python Session Part 2 (Devansh Agarwal guest lecture)

Mar 22 2019: An Introduction to LaTeX
                    [Latex cheatsheet]
                    MNRAS "class" file. - upload to project and use as \documentclass{mnras}
                    MNRAS bibliography style. - upload to project and use as \bibliographystyle{mnras}

Useful links!

Coordinate conversion:

NASA Extragalactic Database (NED):
A great aggregator of information. It links to a lot of data and any papers that reference objects in the sky.

Ned Wright's Cosmology Calculator:
Dr. Wright wrote this very useful tool to determine distance and other information about objects at a given redshift, properly accounting for cosmological effects.

Large astronomical surveys and data archives:

SDSS is an ongoing, rigorous optical survey of much of the sky, providing images and distance information for many galaxies (also contains optical spectrum and image from the survey, and some derived information).

Radio surveys:
These are big surveys of the (mostly northern) sky and will potentially contain images and information about many sky positions. For the southern sky you can search for the PMN survey. The VLASS is a current, ongoing survey whose pilot data is so far available (as of early 2018).

NRAO archive:
Image search (sometimes here you can find a nice radio image made with the Very Large Array or VLBA or Green Bank):

Hubble telescope archive:
Hubble Archive (click "Enter site here" link) - this looks for any data --- images or spectra --- taken by Hubble space telescope!

Celestial Sphere animation:
Demonstrates the positioning and movements of celestial coordinates, depending on where on Earth you are standing.