ASTR121: Introduction to Astronomy (Spring)

Lab01: Introduction to Matlab

Introducing Matlab in a way as to prepare you for the labs throughout the semester.

Lab02: Parallax and Introduction to Error Analysis

To understand and apply methods of data analysis.

Lab03: Binary Stars and Stellar Masses

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.

Lab04: Blackbody and Stellar Spectra

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.

Lab05: Cluster HR Diagrams

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.

Lab06: The Shape and Scale of The Milky Way

In this lab the student uses data from open and globular clusters in order to map the shape of the Milky Way.

Lab07: HI Rotation Curve of the Milky Way

In this lab, you will examine radio observations of neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way to determine the rotation curve of the Milky Way.

Lab08: Hubble's Law

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.

Lab09: Galaxy Morphologies

This lab gives you practice at identifying and categorizing galaxies of varying morphology.

Lab10: Superluminal Motion and Quasar Jets

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.

Lab11: Large-Scale Structure

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.

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