Observational Techniques Graduate Course :  October 2019



       Introduction to astronomical facilities

       Coordinates, catalogues, time, observability

       Earths Atmosphere and advantages of Space

      Atmospheric Transmission and Emission

      Refraction and Seeing

       High Resolution imaging : Corrections for atmospheric phase

      Adaptive Optics,







PDF Copies of the slides are available here:


Lecture 1    Facilities and Coordinates

Lecture 2    Earths atmosphere  :  emission, transmission

Lecture 3    Earths atmosphere  : refraction and seeing

Lecture 4    Achieving High Resolution  ;  Adaptive Optics and Interferometry

Lecture 5    Telescopes

Lecture 6    Detectors

Lecture 7    Imaging & Photometry

Lecture 8    Spectroscopy

Lecture 9    Proposals


Hopefully Useful References and texts


Essential sites:

       Simbad :                     http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/

       NED : Nasa Extragalactic Database  http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu

       NASA Space Data Center      http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/astro/

       Canadian Astronomy Data centre   http://www.cadc-ccda.hia-iha.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/en/

       IRSA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive    http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/frontpage/

       NRAO VLA Sky Survey     http://www.cv.nrao.edu/nvss/


Reference Books

      Arthur Cox  Allens Astrophysical Quantities

      George Rieke Measuring the Universe -A Multiwavelength Perspective

      Ian McLean,  Electronic Imaging in Astronomy: Detectors and Instrumentation, Second Edition, 2008

      C.K. Walker, Terahertz Astronomy

      Jonathan M. Marr, Ronald L. Snell, Stanley E. Kurtz   Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy: Observational Methods

      Bevington, P. R., and Robinson, D. K. 2002, Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences


Review Articles

      M Bessell, Standard Photometric Systems, ARAA, 43, 293, 2005

      G Rieke, Infrared Detector Arrays for Astronomy, ARAA, 45, 2007

      R Davies & M Kaspar, Adaptive Optics for Astronomy, ARAA, 50, 305, 2012

      Taylor, G B, Carilli, C. L, Perley, R. A. (eds) Synthesis Imaging in Radio Astronomy II, ASP Vol. 180 (1998)


Technical Documents

       Basic Image Processing and CCD features : https://www.eso.org/~ohainaut/ccd/

       Starlink CCD Data Reduction Cookbook :   http://www.starlink.ac.uk/docs/sc5.htx/sc5.html

       ALMA Technical Handbook : https://almascience.eso.org/documents-and-tools/latest/documents-and-tools/cycle7/alma-technical-handbook

       Gemini Data Reduction Workshop Presentations  https://www.noao.edu/meetings/gdw/

       Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit  http://casu.ast.cam.ac.uk/surveys-projects/vst/technical