Astronomical Laboratory 3 s.h.
The course is designed to acquaint students with the instruments of optical astronomy and the basics of astronomical research; occasionally the course instructor may provide opportunities for multi-wavelength observing. The course emphasizes hands-on use of the instruments (charge-coupled devices or CCDs, small telescopes, the Van Allen Observatory and sometimes the Iowa Robotic Observatory), computer control of instruments, and acquisition, reduction, analysis, and interpretation of data. The intended outcomes of the course are that each student gain the skills needed to successfully operate and analyze data from CCD detectors mounted on optical telescopes and learn how to pose and answer questions in astrophysics research. The class meets one evening per week for 3 hours. In addition to the weekly course meeting, students are expected to work in teams with other students and organize additional night time observing sessions and project work times.