Astrophysics Methodology


  • Radio telescope:
    • Lecture : Operation of a radio-telescope (4h)
      1. An overview of radio astronomy and radio telescopes.
      2. Introduction to the main components of the radio telescope:
        • antennas
        • receiver
        • low noise amplifier
        • heterodyne detection
        • system sensitivity
        • calibration
        • pointing accuracy.
      3. An overview of the 21 cm line
      4. Introduction to different movement modes for a radio telescope.
    • Lab works : (6h)
      1. A brief introduction to the software used to control and take data
      2. The students will be guided to take some actual data using drift scan (60 min)
      3. Analyze the collected data to understand basic features of the recorded data.
      4. Get the telescope’s beam size then compare it with the estimation from theory (based on the telescope size and frequency).
      5. Introduction to some other measurements such as Milky way observation to measure the galactic rotation curve and empty sky observation to estimate the telescope's sensitivity.
  • Optical telescope:
    • Lecture: principles of CCD imaging (4h)
      1. Charge-Coupled Device : physical principle and parameters (transfer efficiency, thermal noise)
      2. CCD array: read-out time and noise
      3. Image reduction: offset, bias and flat-field
      4. Exposure time and signal to noise ratio
        • Aperture photometry
        • Background level
        • Point spread function
        • Saturation
        • Background noise
        • Calibration with standard stars: Bouguer relation for extinction and airmass.
      5. Spectrometry:
        • flat-field for spectrometry
        • wavelength calibration
        • reduction of spectra
    • Lab works: Data acquisition (6h)
      1. Acquisition of images at the HNUE optical telescopes.
        • Good practices for bias, offsets and flat-fields acquisition
        • Choosing the exposure time (signal to noise, saturation)
        • Telescope positioning and pointing
        • Data acquisition on standard stars
      2. Acquisition of spectra through the slitless Alpy
        • Sun, sky or clouds
        • bright standard stars weather and guiding permitting