Astronomy 410/510: Observational Astrophysics

Students in ASTR 410/510 conduct observational projects using the mighty 0.25-meter Great Ohio Telescope. They conceive their own projects and write observing proposals, then convene as a Time Allocation Committee (TAC) to review the proposals and schedule telescope time. Students acquire, reduce, and analyze the data for their projects, and present the results in written papers and oral presentations at a mock scientific conference.

Impending Deadlines

Observing proposals due 1:00 PM EDT, Friday April 18.
Proposal reviews due 3:00 PM EDT, Tuesday April 22.
TAC Meeting 5:15 PM - 7:00 PM EDT, Wednesday April 23, 259 Clippinger.
TAC summary reports due 5:00 PM EDT, Friday April 25.
Written papers due 12:00 noon EDT, Saturday June 7.
Final revised written papers due 9:00 AM EDT, Wednesday June 11.
Oral paper session 12:20 PM EDT, Thursday June 12, 259 Clippinger.

Jared Withers and the GOT, setting up for an observing night, 5-5-02.

Class Resources

NOTE: Links marked with an X are old and may require revision for 2008.
Syllabus (PDF)
Introductory Guides
Emergency Intro to Unix
Getting Started with IRAF
IRAF Beginner's Guide
Using .ps, .tar, .Z, and .gz Files
Proposal Planning
GOT Observer's Guide
Introduction to XEphem
Essential Databases
Estimating Exposure Times
Proposal Template & Sample (gzipped tar)
Proposal Review & TAC Meeting
Proposal Review Procedures
Reviewer Assignments
Proposal Review Form (plain text)
TAC Report Form (plain text)
Observing Run Preparation
Photometric Standard Stars
Making Finding Charts with XEphem
Blank Logsheet (postscript)
Observer's Guide Errata/Addenda
Data Reduction
Basic Reductions X
Removing Cosmic Rays
Stellar Photometry
Photometry of Irregularly Shaped Objects
Sky Subtraction
Registering and Co-adding Images
Isophote Fitting for Extended Sources
Making Color Composite Images
Papers and Presentations
Writing Guidelines
Sample Paper Format

ASTR 410/510 Project Archive

Spring 2008 (GOT observations clouded out; these projects use data from archives and other observers.)
D. Cotto-Figueroa: Spectroscopy of Near-Earth Asteroids
T. Ericsen & D. Principe: Determination of Orbital Elements of Near-Earth Asteroids
L. Hooks: Color Profiles of the Elliptical Galaxy NGC 6109
T. Peery & K. Fultz: Optical H II Regions in M81 and M83
D. Riethmiller: The Photometric Plane Relation for Elliptical Galaxies
K. Uckert & B. Ragozzine: Age and Distance of the Open Cluster NGC 6819
Spring 2006
S. Postnikov: Period-Color Distance Estimation for Eclipsing Contact Binary CC Com
Spring 2004
S. Diehl: The Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4494: I Band Photometry and Radial Color Profiles
J. Finke: Determination of the Distance to M13 Using a Short Period Cepheid Variable
S. Gupta: On the Optical Variability of the Eclipsing Low Mass X-Ray Binary System HZ Her/Her X1
Z. Heinen: The Changing Period of the Eclipsing Binary TZ Bootis
M. Joshi: Optical Warp in Edge-On Disk Galaxy NGC 5529
N. Kelley: Determining the Mass of Jupiter Based on the Orbital Characteristics of the Galilean Moons
J. Lancaster: Morphology Density Relation in the Coma Cluster
J. Steiner: Cosmological Measurements from Large-Separation Gravitational Lens J1004_4112
T. Watanabe: Rotational Period of Asteroid 755 Quintilla
S. Zelechoski: The Relation Between Hα Flux and Zanstra Temperature in Planetary Nebulae
Spring 2002
W. Eddy: Photometry of Asteroid 107 Camilla
S. R. Ely: Radial Dependence of the Vertical Scale Height in NGC 4565
Y. Pidopryhora: VRI Photometry of M 100: Two Ways to Measure Color Gradients of a Late Hubble Type Galaxy
D. Rafferty: V and I Light Curves of TY Bootis
L. Rafferty: Determination of the Distance to NGC 4725 Using the Infrared Tully-Fisher Relation
R. Ryan: Optical Observations of M94
D. Thatte: Star Formation Rate in M51 from H alpha Observations
J. Withers: VR Photometry of NGC 6819
Spring 2001
A. Constantin: NGC 6543: Zanstra Temperature of The Cat's Eye
R. Salow: Radial I and V Band Photometry of NGC 4038/39: Exploring the Effects of Galaxy-Galaxy Interactions on Surface Brightness Profiles
D. Wik: VI Photometry of M3

Other GOT Observations

2001 Summer Interns
K. Moore: Comet LINEAR (2001 A2)
J. Lancaster: The Ring Nebula
2000 Summer Intern
M. Gwilym: The Spiral Galaxy NGC 6255 and the Asteroid 433 Eros

Last updated 2008 May 29. Maintained by Tom Statler