ASTR 404 - Astronomical and Astrophysical Measurements

This is a 3-credit 4th-year undergraduate-level course. Grad students can take this course as ASTR 503.

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00-12:15, Hennings 302
Office hours:
TBD or send me email at

Current important messages:

Project information and sign-up here.

Data for assignment 2 are here.

The midterm will be in class on Oct. 15th. The final exam will be sometime in the period Dec. 8 -- 22 inclusive. Until the exam schedule comes out in October, you should assume that you will need to be at UBC until the end of Dec. 22!

The Harvard ADS astronomy paper search engine can be found here. This will be useful for your project literature searches.

Required textbook: Astrophysical Techniques by Kitchin, 5th edition or 4th edition. The 5th edition (ISBN 9781420082431) is available at the bookstore.

Paul Hickson's notes are here.

Useful and interesting links, including a few telescopes planned or under construction:

ADS abstracts

Fermi Space Telescope - Gamma-ray energies
ALMA - the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillitre Array
The Allen Telescope Array (ATA; radio)
The Square Kilometre Array (radio) and pathfinders ASKAP and MeerKAT
The Thirty Metre Telescope (optical/IR)
James Webb Space Telescope (IR)
The Virtual Radio Interferometer
The Center for Adaptive Optics at UC Santa Cruz
Gemini telescope adaptive optics pretty pictures
Nasmyth focus illustration for the Subaru telescope
GBT off-axis design
Public-level description of the Arecibo telescope including a ray diagram of the Gregorian dome.
Ray-tracing simulations of aberrations, etc.
The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics to COBE
Lots of detail on bolometers
The cesium fountain clock at NIST
The GPS system
Hydrogen masers
Lots more detail on time systems
The International Celestial Reference Frame
Program and pdf lecture notes from the 4th International X-ray Astronomy School, organized by NASA and the CXO Center at Harvard-Smithsomnian. Very good resource for detector info and scientific overviews.

ADS and astro-ph abstract links for several useful review articles -- follow the links to access the full articles (html or pdf).

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