ASTR121: Introduction to Astronomy (Spring)
Introducing Matlab in a way as to prepare you for the labs throughout the semester.
To understand and apply methods of data analysis.
In this lab you will use spectra taken at 7 times for a binary star system for which one can identify the
H-alpha absorption line and obtain from it a radial velocity measurement. You can then use measures of
shifts in the absorption line wavelength in order to determine the total mass of the binary system.
The temperature of a star plays an important role in determining the characteristics of the light we
observe from it. In this lab, you will explore temperature's role in the stellar classification system
and in the HR diagram.
In this lab you use online data from SDSS in order to obtain data for two star clusters and
plot their HR diagrams. By comparing the two you'll gain further understanding of cluster age
and evolution. The clusters are the example clusters listed in the teaching section of SkyServer, an
SDSS online tool.
In this lab the student uses data from open and globular clusters in order to map the shape of the
In this lab, you will examine radio observations of neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way to determine the
rotation curve of the Milky Way.
In this lab, you will analyze spectra of galaxies to determine their redshift, calculate their distance
based on their apparent vs absolute magnitude, and use Hubble's Law to determine Hubble's constant.
This lab gives you practice at identifying and categorizing galaxies of varying morphology.
In this lab an image of bright knots in a relativistic jet is provided and you are asked to measure the
superluminal motion and derive the gamma factor.
In this lab, you will analyze spectra of galaxies to determine their redshift, and you will then plot
the positions of the galaxies to reveal the large scale structure of a portion of the universe.