The lectures take place in the Huygens building #427 on Wednesdays from 9:00  10:45hr. The exercises are held in the same room on Mondays from 9:00  10:45hr. For exceptions see preliminary schedule below.
The teaching period is from September 10 through December 17, 2008. The course language is English.
The lecturer is Dr. Bernhard Brandl, office: #535 (Oort building), phone (071) 5275830, email. The teaching assistant is Drs.Reinout van Weeren, office: #534, email.
Nowadays, astronomical observations are increasingly demanding in terms of sensitivity, image contrast, field of view, stability and calibrations, pushing telescopes and instrumentation closer and closer to their limits. Meaningful results require a careful understanding of the technologies and equipment that is being used. This course provides a general overview of most aspects that are relevant to observational astronomy, covering both the underlying physical principles and the technical concepts. In addition, the theoretical concepts of image signal processing are being discussed and practical exercises will be held. The lectures are structured as follows:
The course will use the book Observational Astrophysics (Springer) by P. Lena, F. Lebrun & F. Mignard, 2nd revised and enlarged edition, 1998, ISBN: 9783540634829. It is recommended that students get their own copy of the book.
For further reading on the various topics it is recommended to have a look at the following books in the library:
The course is intended for 3rd year Bachelor students, and assumes two years of successful studies in Astronomy. Credits: 6 EC points.
The grades will be determined from a written exam at the end of the course. The content of the exam will be largely based on the topics of the weekly exercises.
Date 
Lecture topic 
Lena 
Basics of Observational Astronomy 

10Sep08 
Introduction, Coordinate systems and time 
8 
15Sep08 
Exercises (solutions)  
17Sep08 
Properties of radiation (radiometric quantities, coherence, polarization, magnitudes)  3 
22Sep08 
Exercises (solutions)  
24Sep08 
Atmospheric properties (transmission, emission, scattering, dispersion)  2 
29Sep08 
No exercises  
01Oct08 
No lecture  
06Oct08 
Exercises (solutions)  
08Oct08 
Atmospheric turbulence and telescopes  4 
Theoretical Basis and Background 

13Oct08 
Fourier transform  part I (definition, properties, 1D examples)  A 
15Oct08 
Exercises (solutions)  
20Oct08 
Exercises (solutions)  
22Oct08 
Fourier transform  part II (2D examples, theorems) & Geometrical optics (image formation, aberrations)  A 
27Oct08 
Exercises (solutions)  
29Oct08 
Diffraction optics (Coherence, Fraunhofer diffraction, PSF, MTF)  4 
03Nov08 
Special optical design  Introduction exercise (solutions)  
05Nov08 
No lecture 

10Nov08 
Special optical desing exercises continued  
12Nov08 
Signal, noise, and sensitivities  6 
17Nov08 
Exercises (solutions)  
Specific Techniques and Instrumentation 

19Nov08 
Detectors (part 1)  7 
24Nov08 
Exercises (solutions)  
26Nov08 
Detectors (part 2)  7 
01Dec08 
Spectrometers (spectral information, dispersing elements, types of spectrometers)  5 
03Dec08 
No exercises  
08Dec08 
Exercises (solutions)  
10Dec08 
Adaptive Optics (principle, components, laser guide stars, types of AO systems)  (4.4) 
15Dec08 
Exercises (solutions)  
17Dec08 
Interferometry (visibility, interferometers)  4.3 
16Jan09 
Summary lecture of the course [9:00 hr  11:00 hr]  
28Jan09 
Exam [10:00 hr  13:00 hr]  grades 