ASTR 610: Astronomical Instrumentation and Techniques
The outline specific to Fall 1998 is separate.
This course is intended to provide a detailed introduction to
astronomical instrumentation, and how to use it, for all wavelengths.
The volume of relevant material is too large to fit in a single
semester so the content varies depending on who is teaching the
course. The goal of the course is to address the differences from
one wavelength regime to another in such a way as to make observational
astronomy a coherent whole, differing only in details from one regime
to another. Examples tend to be drawn predominantly from
the radio and the optical regimes since these are the two regimes
in which the majority of astronomers practice, but other regimes
such as infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma rays are also addressed
to show how technical details differ in these regimes.
Topics Which Should Be Covered in the Course
- Spherical Trigonometry
- Time & Coordinate Systems (including precession, nutation, etc.)
- Basics of signal-to-noise considerations
- Atmospheric & Ionospheric Effects
- Fourier Transform Theory
- Filled Apertures - Geometrical Optics vs. Fourier Theory at all
- Interferometry in the spatial domain
- Spectrometers - gratings, Fourier transforms, Fabry-Perots,
- Detectors - photon vs. energy vs. coherent-wave detectors
Experience has shown that one can cover only approximately 2/3 of this
To M. F. A'Hearn's home page.
Updated:1997 Jan 09, mfa